SOCIAL STAFF – SUPPORT OR SURPRESS?

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This morning, The Telegraph revealed that, according to a study by Samsung Electronics, we Brits are the most rebellious in Europe when it comes to disobeying workplace social media restrictions – with 41 per cent of employees engaging in online social activity during working hours. The majority of these ‘social media separatists’ sit between the ages of 18-34 and break the rules by ignoring bans or accessing sites using their own technology.

54 per cent of companies admit to banning Twitter and Facebook inside their organisations’ fire walls, citing the platforms as ‘distracting’, ‘time-wasting’ and ‘counter productive’.

Despite these claims, are strict employers being as judicious and savvy as they once suspected? I’m not so sure.

In my opinion, restrictions on social media are more stone age than sensible. Understandably, bosses don’t want staff to be scrolling through their Facebook timelines all day – but rather than impose a blanket ban, why not observe how employees are working and consider ways in which to make this behaviour more compatible with business strategy?

Banning social media sites instantly eliminates the ability for social business networking to occur – an elimination which could be of great detriment to the development of business. After all, social is the new normal and in order for your workforce to build great relationships, a little snooping on Twitter prior to making a call goes a long way. Football banter or gossiping about the favourite TV programme of a client, contact or prospect will help you stand out from the crowd.

Besides, telling somebody not to do something often spurs them on. Trust and clear communication are much more effective at facilitating constructive behaviour. If staff feel trusted and are given the opportunity to develop a company – socially or otherwise – amazing things can happen.

Want to learn more about how social networking can benefit you? Let’s chat!

@Peppertweets, @SophieMaryGreen