How Do You Control the Cost of Excessive Social Media Use By Employees?
To say that social media is on the rise would probably be the understatement of the century. With the click of a button or the touch of your finger, you can have access to social media anytime and anywhere. The workplace is no exception. More and more employees are accessing their personal social media accounts while on the clock. When their usage leads to loss of productivity, is excessive or offensive, it can be very costly to an employer. Furthermore, depending on the nature of the company’s business, a breach of network and data security is also a possibility.
Have a Policy in Place
To counteract these risk, employers should have policies in place to regulate the practice of social media use. This should happen long before usage becomes excessive. The employer should establish clear, written social media policies. Having a policy in place will establish company procedures. However, to be enforceable, employees must be aware of and have access to the policy. The policy should outline rules regarding usage for business as well as personal social media. It should clearly define what an employee can and cannot do along with the consequences if these rules are not adhered to. Having a policy in place and deciding what position your company will take on social media, should help with controlling excessive usage cost. So, what is your position? How will you handle social media issues? There are several methods you might consider.
One option an employer has is to totally forbid usage of social media during working hours. This can include any and all technological devices: phones, watches, computers, tablets, etc. The prohibition of social media usage and any disciplinary actions must be explained in the social media policy. The downside to prohibiting all access to social media, is that it can possibly affect employee morale and be just as costly as excessive employee usage.
Another option would be to monitor employees’ usage. Employers are able to monitor which sites are visited during work hours, but the monitoring can not infringe on the employees private lives. If employee usage is going to be monitored, your social media policy must explain how the monitoring will take place and to what degree.
Employers are able to limit access to sites through the use of firewalls. Employees can be restricted to using social media when on lunch or breaks. Some employers even go as far as having designated computers for employees to access social media. Restrictions should also be documented in your policy.
In short, the best way to avoid the high cost of excessive social media usage in the future, is to take some preventative measures today.