When I hear of companies restricting social media at work I am immediately brought back to my grade school days when ‘phones were not permitted in the class room’. You would get your phone taken away and sent to the principal’s office. So what happens when that unruly employee checks their Facebook from their cell phone? Are you going to take it away and send them to the principals’ office? Social media at the office is the new ‘cell phones in the classroom’.
I was surprised to learn that over half of the companies in the U.S. deny access to social media sites while on the job. What sites do you turn to when in search of breaking news or to find information? I would answer that question by saying Twitter. When I want to learn something quickly Twitter is my go-to. Not only will I be informed of what is going on around me, the search capability is fantastic.
Social media isn’t just about seeing if your friends are at the gym or who just got engaged. On the job, it is all about improving business practices and opening the lines of communication. So, it’s a natural transition for businesses to see their employees eager and ready to use social business solutions to find information regarding their jobs. An added benefit is , when companies implement a social business solution within their organizations they see an increase in morale amongst their employees. Which in turn builds trust resulting in a rock star team. Also, it opens up many different avenues for collaboration amongst your team members. When social business is active throughout an organization the amount of engaged employees skyrockets along with the team involvement. A Gartner study indicates, by 2016, 50% of large corporations will have internal social networks – 30% of these will be considered as essential as email/telephones today.
One of the main hurdles when trying to implement a new social business tool, or any new tool, into the workplace, is upper management. There is usually a lot of push back as to why a new tool is needed or if it is even necessary. There are three main things managers are looking to get out of the social business tool:
All three of those objectives are very achievable when putting a social business tool into the daily lives of employees. Employee engagement is huge and can actually hurt a company if they have unengaged employees. Customers are not satisfied, money is wasted, and time is lost. Implement a social business tool that will better you companies culture; increase innovation, engagement, and all around company culture. You won’t regret it.