All Play, No Work
While social media has become a useful tool for current organizations to use as a means of advertisement and consumer research it has its negative side effects as well. Social media has caused employees’ productivity to decrease as many spend valuable hours on social media sites while they are on the job. Finding a way to manage and control the amount of time employees spend has become one of the biggest challenges facing the organization today. Without proper policies or tactics in place, organizations can be wasting their money on employee salaries without getting the full benefit out of their dollars. While many companies have decided to ban social media websites on company computers, this has actually proven to not be a valid solution. The purpose of this blog is going to be to explain how organizations can make sure that their employees are spending more time working, than they are surfing social media websites.
Don’t Ban Websites:
First and foremost, it should be known that banning the websites entirely is not a valid solution to this problem. Everyone in an organization today has a smart phone and they are all capable of accessing these social media websites through their smart phones on the job. Second, when someone is told they are not allowed to do something, this at times gives them a bigger incentive to do it. Take a child for instance. You tell the child he is not allowed to eat dessert before he has dinner. The child usually does not listen and will eat dessert before dinner. Let the parent tell him he can eat all the dessert he wants. The child eats a bunch of dessert before dinner and gets a stomachache. Therefore, he learns his lesson and does not eat dessert before dinner anymore. Although this example is far fetched in relation to social media surfing on the job, you get what I am trying to get at here. Last but not least, banning social media websites is extremely costly and if there are ways to get around it what’s the point? A great link is attached below that goes into detail about why organizations should not ban social media websites on the job.
The Debate about Blocking Social Media in the Workplace, Shel Holtz - http://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices/workforce-management/employee-performance-management/blocking-social-media-us.aspx
If companies wish to keep their employees active and off social media websites what better way to do it then constant monitoring of their work. If employers set goals and due dates that their employees have to meet, won't this keep them off social media website if they have work to do and deadlines to meet? If an organization does most of its work in an office setting, they should make sure the person in charge does a few laps around the office every day, just to make sure people are working on work, rather then on social media sites. The fear alone of an employee being caught on a social media website will cut the amount of time employees spend on these sites.
Offer Social Media to Benefit the Organization:
Another way to stop employees from decreasing their productivity on social media sites, is to allow them to use social media! Crazy right? But instead of them using social media for personal use, they can use it to benefit the organization. As we all know, social media has become a great way for companies to expand their advertisement efforts and has helped them with customer research. Companies should allow employees to use social media for these exact purposes. Organizations should make sure that the social media use is:
- Effective and the organization is benefiting from it.
- The employees are not downgrading the organization on social media.
- Social media is not preventing them from getting other work done.
Once employees finish their normal work, the organization should encourage them to feel free and surf the social media websites. They should be looking for anything that can benefit their organization. Whether it is something their competitor is doing or customer suggestions found on social media websites. Monthly or quarterly meetings should be done to make sure that the employees are using their social media time in effective manners and to combine and share what each employee found. This way employees get their social media fix in while on the job, but it actually benefits the organization instead of harming it.
Last but not least, a huge way to help decrease the amount of time employees spend on social media sites is to challenge them. If employees are not challenged while on the job they are going to spend more time on the job surfing the web. Organizations need to constantly have meetings with their employees to make sure they are being challenged enough and that the workload is sufficient enough to keep them busy. There is a difference between challenging your employees and overloading them. Employees who are overloaded with work are going to find themselves being less productive as stress will set in. The right balance is the key.
As social media becomes more and more popular, companies are going to have to find ways to prevent employee productivity from decreasing. If they want to succeed in this manner the right balance of monitoring and allowing social media interactivity on the job is going to need to take place. Companies need to welcome social media with open arms and not ban it entirely from their organization if they hope to be successful in the future.
Other Social Media Posts
- Three Things To Keep In Mind When Using Social Media For Business - http://inbound.business.wayne.edu/blog/three-things-to-keep-in-mind-when-using-social-media-for-business
- Public uses social media in emergencies - http://inbound.business.wayne.edu/blog/public-uses-social-media-in-emergencies
(All credit and accolades for this tremendous blog post are for Ryan Sitto who is the author and content creator.)