Teaching Social Media in the Workplace

Educate!  Educate!  Educate!

Rear view of class raising hands --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Companies are watching the use of social media in the workplace as well as company activities, news, finances and other undisclosed/non-public information.  I completely understand why this is important and the value in confidentiality from employees – but what I fail to understand is why companies are not educating their employees on best practices and, even more importantly, the value around social media.

Companies are establishing social media policies every single day.  They are posted to the company intranet and it is expected that everyone will read it and understand it.  Most employees will review and move on either in accordance or not in compliance.  Why not have a 1 hour session with your employees to further allow them to understand the why’s and to ask questions so that questions or concerns are greatly reduced.

Companies are also being proactive and blocking social networking sites from employee access.  If employees cannot access a social media site from their office computer, they absolutely will from a mobile phone in hopes of keeping up with friends, recent trends, news and other important topics (at least important topics specific to each person).

Employers need to be astutely aware of this fact and take a proactive approach to educating the employee.  This could be a very simple session discussion do’s, don’ts, how to add value, how not to be smart on social media, and so many other great topics that too many users don’t understand.

A company will choose whether or not to be apart of social networking and social media, that is up to each organization to decide.  What cannot be ignored is the fact that your employees will be out there regardless.  The sooner that companies embrace that social media will be accessed one way or another, the sooner they may adapt and help their employees to be successful.

(Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis)