- Social media can improve worker productivity. A regularly cited concern is diminished workforce productivity due to employees wasting time on social networks. However, there’s research suggesting that the opposite is true; the Harvard Business Review projects that social media could increase worker productivity by as much as 20 to 25 percent. Employees can find relevant information quickly, they can use LinkedIn to search for prospective clients, recruiters can find qualified applicants for a job opening, and there are many more examples of benefits to functions such as customer service and crisis communications.
- It can become a competitive advantage. In all likelihood, even if you do not currently allow your workforce to use social media, at least one of your competitors does. Are you willing to fall behind? Even companies in highly regulated industries, such as Morgan Stanley, are finding ways to equip their employees with social media. It can become a selling point in recruiting and retaining talent as people look for flexible, innovative companies; this is especially for younger-generation workers who have grown up with social media and expect to have access to it. Even current employees may appreciate their newfound freedom and become an advocate of the company, spreading a positive company message online.
- Employees will use it anyway. In reality, whether you give employees permission or not, they will still use social media. Employees can access social media on their personal mobile devices or on their home computer, and they will use social media outside of normal business hours. Without establishing appropriate guidelines and training employees what’s acceptable behaviour, they are more prone to use social media in an ill-advised manner.
- Blocking social media is not easy either. You can’t just institute a zero-use policy and then turn attention to other more pressing matters — this doesn’t work. Whether you choose to block or allow social media, you need to establish policies with effective tools to enforce them. So, even when you do block social media, you still need to scan social networks regularly, monitor and control social media behaviour, and have sufficient remediation methods in the event of a policy lapse.
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