Workforce.com

Workplace Social Media Policies Must Account for Generational Issues

A policy that only recognizes the interests of one generation will chase away the others. Take the time to craft a workplace technology program that properly accounts for the divergent ideas of boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Yers.

February 7, 2013

Cisco recently interviewed 3,600 Gen Y College students and workers between the ages of 18 and 30. The purpose of the survey was to gauge the influence of social media, mobile devices, and the Internet on that generation's job choices. The results (via Gen Y Hub) say a lot about how companies should be managing the divergent expectations of different generations in the workplace.

  • 2 out of every 3 college students will ask a prospective employer about its social media policy during a job interview.
  • If a company bans the access of social media in the workplace, 56 percent either will not accept a job or will ignore the policy.
  • 1 out of every 3 value social media freedom over salary.
  • Approximately 70 percent believe that corporate devices should also be used to access personal social media accounts.

Generational issues might be the most important interpersonal aspect of managing social media in the workplace. Yet, this issue is rarely discussed. Each generation has a very different idea both about the role of technology in their daily lives, and the impact of technology on their concepts of personal privacy. A policy that only recognizes the interests of one generation will chase away the others. Take the time to craft a workplace technology program that properly accounts for the divergent ideas of Boomers, X-ers, and Y-ers.

Written by Jon Hyman, a partner in the Labor & Employment group of Kohrman Jackson & Krantz. For more information, contact Jon at (216) 736-7226 or jth@kjk.com.