Is there a Risk to Adopting Social Media in The Workplace?

Social Media and the Workplace….

Those two things seem to be far from each other, sounds like a managers worst nightmare. However, in reality what are the risks of adopting Social Media in the workplace? In recent times with Social Media applications on the rise and the advances of the new generation in the workforce it is seen as something to be used daily. The mindset that communication involves door-to-door sales or phone calls or sending out flyers are well in the past. The costs of flyers verses an ad on FaceBook speaks for itself and the potential to reach millions of people at the same time make Social Media a serious consideration  for the workplace.

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There must be risks though right? Well to be fair, the simplest answer is “Yes”, of course there are risks regarding Social Media, its open and public! That’s why it is “Social”. So as a business moves forward and adopts social media concepts within its business policies what do they need to address in terms of challenges and issues regarding the use of Social Media. Why is social capital and trust important? Is there a negative spin on using Social Media, how are these obstacles overcome? Does culture play a role in the implementation and the adoption of Social Media in the working environment? Well, this posts discussion will address these concerns and finalise with my own question as always.

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Let’s start off with challenges….

  • Distraction
  • Privacy
  • Content
  • Executive Resistance
  • Culture

Okay so, knowing what Social Media is, is important when defining how it should be used. The list of distractions are linked through Management within a company, as a manager it is clear that they would see social media as a distraction, workers spend more time on Facebook than they actually spend doing work which is the usual interpretation. Then there’s the privacy issue, how can a company keep its secrets and internal affairs private if it has staff that are constantly on social media? What about content? NSFW (Not Safe For Work) is seen around Social Media quite a bit. There are always ways to prevent these from being accessed through a companies computer. Culture, what is culture? How can culture affect Social Media?

So these challenges seem all to lead back to Management. Executive Resistance. Fears of productivity lead to management shying away from the idea of adopting Social Media.

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According to Christine Eberle, these “risks” that companies see are there however can easily be mitigated. She suggests that companies have “Corporate Rules” so as to make sure that the use of social media is within the company or businesses best interest. The value that the younger Millennial generation place on trust is high and therefore she believe that trust is in important issue. The difficulty is incorporating older staff members to use social media as well by encouraging the use, the company will see increases in productivity along with growth through social media networks. It also allows a new way of thinking within the company itself as the company opens up to new ideas and newer strategies for marketing their products and/or services.

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Being culturally sensitive is another issue in which companies need to address seriously. The culture of people in regards to the companies culture. With the rise of social media, the cross cultural communication between people have become widespread and quite popular. In any company or place of work, many employees are diverse in background and knowing this is important when dealing with people from a different culture to your own. This also applies to customers as knowing how they would respond to you is a way to show you understand them as your customers.

Okay, so concluding this post it is important to recognise that there are always risks involved when adopting social media, however if implemented right it can really make a difference in the company!

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