The battle lines have been drawn between employers and employees regarding the use of social networking sites at work. It looks like employees are going to win this round. As the HR Capitalist points out, when you put up a firewall to block access on company computers, workers just pull out their smartphones and keep tweeting. So, a company policy backed by IT wizardry isn’t doing much in terms of actual enforcement. Instead, it’s creating a culture where workers feel clever for finding a way around the rules.
Compromise May Be the Answer
Would it actually be more productive to set up rules that permit workers to use the system without abusing it? Some companies take a middle road by giving employees full access to social networking sites to check blogs, FaceBook, and Twitter for updates and post comments – but only for a set number of minutes per week (60, 90, 120, etc). The time spent on these sites is automatically monitored and employees are given an update whenever they browse showing how many minutes they have left.
That’s actually a pretty good compromise for workers who use social sites to refresh their brain and check in on friends/family at regular intervals throughout the day. Having a time limit helps prevent them from getting sucked in and not realizing how much time they are spending on non-work stuff. Plus, they can visit the sites on their office PC “legally” instead of sneaking off to the bathroom to use their smartphone.
Professional Use Implications
Deciding to blend employee use of social networking with their actual job functions is a whole different can of worms. If someone at your company is great at building relationships you might want to tap into that by having them do social networking under your brand. That network could end up being very valuable and you’ll need to figure out a way to retain ownership of it if the employee leaves. This concept could apply to the recruiting sphere, marketing, customer service, community outreach, and so on. Check out this Workforce Management article to read about some of the things you should take into consideration in these situations.
Social Sites and Onboarding
In acculturation onboarding, there are a number of ways to incorporate social networking into a new hire’s experience. You’ll have the greatest degree of control over an internal platform. With the Allegro HR Acculturation Portal, you have the opportunity to introduce new hires to a range of company networking options such as Microsoft SharePoint.
However, internal solutions may not have all the bells and whistles of a site like LinkedIn or FaceBook. Plus, workers may be more comfortable with a site they already know how to use. So, you could also add data panels and acculturation tasks that encourage employees to participate as part of your company’s “team” on everything from Twitter to YouTube. The acculturation module is a great area to showcase some of the best of your organization’s efforts in incorporating social media into the work environment and workplace culture. The flexibility of our acculturation software means that its value is only limited by your imagination.