Thursday, May 1, 2014

With workplace social media, don’t be like Nero

Legend tells us that Nero sat and played his fiddle while Rome, the capital of his empire, burned. Sadly, according to a recent survey, Social Media in the Workplace Around the World 3.0 [pdf], many employers are taking the same approach with their employees’ use of social media.

81% of employers surveyed report that they foresee the misuse of social media by employees becoming more of any issue in the future. Yet, only 53% have updated their social media policies in the past year, and only 37.5% provide employees any training on the appropriate use of social media. Meanwhile, 71% report having to take disciplinary action against employees for social-media misuse (more than double the number from 2012).

What do these numbers mean? Employers are not proactively getting out in front of a known problem.

Social media changes with the blink of an eye. Two years ago, many had never even heard of Twitter; now it boasts more than a billion registrants. New social sites debut at a lightning pace. Employers need flexible, changeable policies to adapt to these evolving technologies. Moreover, a policy is not worth the paper on which it’s printed unless you also provide meaningful, common-sense training to your employees.

It’s great news that employers perceive social media as a workplace problem that’s not going away. It’s disheartening, however, that so many are choosing to do nothing about it.