Social Media, is it an Asset, Liability of just a Fact of Modern Life? It depends who you ask and also how it is managed. Managers may see it as a timewaster but many employees view it as a necessary way of networking their customers, colleagues and a way to express their views.
From the companies perspective it can be enormously valuable if the organisation is open to new ideas, the employees are happy and enjoy good conditions and are well managed. It can promote the company image, help in recruitment and product and service promotion. If however the company culture is poor, employees are not happy and there is a general atmosphere of mistrust then this benefits will not be realised.
On the other hand it can become another distraction to work for employees, in some cases it could allow the leakage of confidential private documents or publish inaccurate company information.
The reality is that whether employers like it or not it is here to stay, they need to recognise that it is hard to control and must look try to work the positives and learn to live with it.
Some strategies to help cope with it are:
- Set a policy for social networking around confidentiality, publishing laws and disclosure laws
- Provide open channels at work for employees to provide feedback and ideas
- Create a flexible, relaxed atmosphere at work
- Give employees responsibility and freedom to act
- Focus employees on targets and agreed dates and not on non work activities such as the media, work breaks, etc
In these ways social media will turn into an asset for your company and productivity will rise.