Fifty-four percent of companies ban Facebook in the workplace. Even though many offices ban Facebook, the reality is that one-third of millennials (Nielsen) still sneak away to check their phones.
So the question is: How long can you effectively ban Facebook?
Generation Y will eventually force workplaces across industries to adopt, or at least conditionally permit, social media use in the office. Here’s why.
1. They’ll argue it’s actually practical for the company.
Millennials use social media to stay on top of news and trends in their industry. The greater your employees’ media presence, the more exposure they will drive to your company. Marketing is the crux of most organizations and social media is the foundation of all modern marketing tactics.
2. They’ll argue it increases their productivity.
Millennials crave instant gratification. Forcing them to wait until a quarterly review for a reward doesn’t motivate them. Instead, Facebook can serve as a mini-reward for accomplishing a task. After they meet a deadline they set for themselves, a quick glimpse at the number of likes they got on their latest update can actually boost their productivity!
A study conducted at the University of Melbourne suggests that employees who can use social media are 9 percent more productive than those who can't.
3. They won’t take a job at your company in the first place!
A recent Forbes article on employment rates cites that “more than half of Gen Y workers ‘will not accept a job that bans social media’.”
Sounds crazy, right?
Believe it or not, more and more millennials would rather be unemployed than join an organization that doesn’t let them use social media.
Don’t lose top talent that’s eager to learn because you’re unwilling to understand the world they have learned to function in. You may end up doing your company a disservice if you don’t allow reasonable social media use.
As long as you give your staff guidelines and parameters, you should trust that they’ll get work done. Create a results-driven environment so the amount of time they spend online won’t be an issue.
If you decide to compromise, here are a few tips for managing social media use:
- To prevent conflicts that may arise with company values, make sure your staff is clear that personal opinions should only be expressed on personal accounts.
- Mistakes are bound to happen, so be ready to deal with them. Make sure there are written social media policies in place for dealing with possible mistakes.
- Establish policies in advance that manage the protection of confidential or proprietary information, harassment, and discrimination.