Social Media in the Workplace: Yay or nay?

Yesterday, I went to an awards banquet on behalf of my company. Before the awards presentation, my CEO sat on a panel to discuss the “Advantages and Pitfalls of Social Media.” I’d like to discuss what went down.

As you probably could have figured by my tag cloud, I’m in a full-blown love affair with social media. I think there is an appropriate social media channel for literally every industry and I can’t recommend it enough in on both a personal and professional level. That being said, you can see why I’d be surprised that most of the panel discussion (driven heavily by audience questions) was centered around how social media is creating a loss of productivity in the workplace. Granted this was a human resources-related event, but neglecting to highlight the tremendous advantages social media can bring to your company by spending a majority of the conversation on the negative aspects of social media seemed wrong.

I was so overjoyed when my CEO pulled out the quote, “Treat your employees like their adults”. As long as your employees know what they have to get done by when, should you trust them to do their job? After all, YOU hired them! To me, monitoring their every move and controlling how they manage their time is just creating an angry teenager needing to rebel. In fact, I’ve actually saved time on several occasions by contacting people about work-related issues via social media outlets because I didn’t have their email addresses.

If employees are wasting their entire day on Facebook and you block it, don’t you think those employees will find other ways to waste their time at work? Think about all the sites out there made entirely to fill time. Will you nix smoke breaks? Personal phone emails and phone calls? Use of cell phones all together to prevent texting and games?

Are employers just acting out of fear because of their ignorance about all the positives that social media can bring?

What do you think?
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4 Comments on “Social Media in the Workplace: Yay or nay?”

  1. Ali Pitt Says:

    Interesting post… love the comment from your CEO. I totally agree with you. Let’s face it.. social media is becoming just as popular as cell phones, e-mails, smoke breaks, etc. There would be an uproar at every single work place in the country if we started banning those personal freedoms, so why ban social media? Look at the stats. There are people and businesses out there who gain so much from social media: increased brand awareness, incremental new business, the ability to reach an audience you otherwise wouldn’t reach… need I go on? I totally agree with you! If an employee is going to waste their day on facebook, they will waste their day elsewhere if facebook is banned. Now that’s a personality flaw, not a facebook flaw. 🙂

  2. john Says:

    Even though it’s not banned at my work, I agree that people will just find other ways to spend their time.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kellee Montgomery and Kellee Montgomery, John. John said: yes in moderation! rt @kellee_m Social media at work: yay or nay? #whatdoyouthink […]

  4. Bree Says:

    Yay – definitely. I work in the PR/marketing/advertising industry, and I cant imagine getting my job done, without social media. And, I totally agree with your CEO’s quote.

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