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The Practical Employer

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With Workplace Social Media, Don’t Be Like Emperor Nero

Employers perceive social media as a workplace problem that’s not going away, but many are choosing to do nothing about it.

May 1, 2014
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Related Topics: Social Media, Policies and Procedures, Technology
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Legend tells us that Nero sat and played his fiddle while Rome, the capital of his empire, burned. Sadly, according to a recent survey, Social Media in the Workplace Around the World 3.0 [pdf], many employers are taking the same approach with their employees’ use of social media.

81% of employers surveyed report that they foresee the misuse of social media by employees becoming more of any issue in the future. Yet, only 53% have updated their social media policies in the past year, and only 37.5% provide employees any training on the appropriate use of social media. Meanwhile, 71% report having to take disciplinary action against employees for social-media misuse (more than double the number from 2012).

What do these numbers mean? Employers are not proactively getting out in front of a known problem.

Social media changes with the blink of an eye. Two years ago, many had never even heard of Twitter; now it boasts more than a billion registrants. New social sites debut at a lightning pace. Employers need flexible, changeable policies to adapt to these evolving technologies. Moreover, a policy is not worth the paper on which it’s printed unless you also provide meaningful, common-sense training to your employees.

It’s great news that employers perceive social media as a workplace problem that’s not going away. It’s disheartening, however, that so many are choosing to do nothing about it.

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