Before reading this post, I kindly ask that you briefly learn about employee social media use inside and outside of the workplace in the video below.
Over the years there have been many benefits that social media has brought to the corporate world. For many companies across the globe, social media has allowed new ways of connecting with potential and current customers, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders. This, in turn offers companies the opportunity to efficiently speed up the pace of business, through effectively instituting messages that a company may want to convey and strengthen a company’s relationships with customers. However, unfortunately companies do face risks in its use of social media.
Social media when not well managed opens the door to many risks, for example conflicts of interest, breach of confidentiality and misuse of company resources. However, I feel as though the main risk that I consider to be significant is the misuse of work time. I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying that “time is money”. If you recall from the video above, the notable facts stated that, “40% of businesses in a recent survey reported having to discipline employees for misuse of social networking in the workplace” and further, that this usage has cost the American economy $650 billion annually. Could we then imagine what the global cost is? These figures have been on the rise since the year 2000 which in a sense is understandable due to little to no use of social media within companies 15 years ago.
Overall, companies must try to implement useful time management. With 3 out of 4 employees currently accessing social media once a day or more while at work, this phenomenon means that a certain level of monitoring and auditing is needed in organisations. Companies can of course filter their networks to completely prohibit the use of social media, however employees aren’t kids and a high professional level of trust should exist. The following steps could aid in tackling time management issues of social media use in the workplace:
- Developing a workplace policy based on the company’s philosophy, mission statement and code of conduct i.e. allowing for social media usage, only if work-related or during lunch breaks.
- Provide workplace ethics training to employees i.e. training employees to resist social media usage during work-time.
- Designate an external referee in charge of handling employees’ informal concerns pertaining to workplace ethics i.e. receiving feedback from employees on their views of the policy- how different is their work performance?
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How to Handle Ethical Issues in the Workplace | Chron.com. 2015. How to Handle Ethical Issues in the Workplace | Chron.com. [ONLINE] Available at:http://smallbusiness.chron.com/handle-ethical-issues-workplace-10157.html. [Accessed 20 March 2015].
Ethical Issues in Social Media | vrevzine. 2015. Ethical Issues in Social Media | vrevzine. [ONLINE] Available at:http://vrevzine.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/ethical-issues-in-social-media/. [Accessed 20 March 2015].