This morning whilst I was out in the car (not driving BTW) I read a tweet from JudithELS that said:
"Naughty employees – well rules are there to break, aren't they? http://tinyurl.com/28r8mvg"
The link took me to a Mashable post, entitled Employees Ignore Social Media Policies, Play “FarmVille” on Company Time [STUDY] that reported a Cisco study that showed …
"that workers in the
enterprise are accessing their favorite social networking sites on
company-issued equipment even when corporate policies prohibit them from
I groaned .. not yet another study on the evils of the distractions of social media for employees. I decided not to tweet an immediate reply but to wait till I got back to base to provide a more considered response. However, in the meantime, Jane Bozarth responded:
"If (invoke sarcastic tone) "social media" would go away, then employees could get back to being productive 100% of the day."
Of course, Jane is absolulelty right. Haven't we heard all this before, when email and Instant messaging arrived – how distracting all that was?
Unfortunately, this is often the feedback I receive when I talk about the use of social media in the workplace – that it's all just a distracting waste of time for employees!
But my response is that banning social media is pretty useless anyway – as many studies show, individuals are accessing it on their own mobile devices And reprimanding users for accessing sites is also not an appropriate response; it is much more important to consider employee performance; if this suffers (due to excessive use or for any other reason) then that should be the reason for a reprimand.
Although the Cisco report, mentioned above, does point to more serious security issues, access to the Social Web is becoming an important feature of modern business life. It would be far better to provide help to those who need it about how to use social media sites effectively and responsibly rather than shutting it down to stop a few people playing Facebook games – this will surely do more harm than good for an organisation.