This post was originally posted at Employee Evolution Social networking is not a fad. It’s not one of those things that people think is cool for a few years and then it simply fades away. Much like the internet did, social networking and social media have changed the way the world works. We’re now connected […]
This post was originally posted at Employee Evolution
Social networking is not a fad. It’s not one of those things that people think is cool for a few years and then it simply fades away. Much like the internet did, social networking and social media have changed the way the world works. We’re now connected to every friend, acquaintance, girlfriend, boyfriend, and business contact that we have ever encountered – it’s a powerful and even revolutionary tool.
Social media has already changed the way people communicate and interact with each other and it’s changing the way business works – for the better. But still, a recent Challenger, Gray & Christmas study found that 20% of companies have banned social networking sites from employee computers! If your company is one of those 20%, you should seriously reconsider. Here’s why.
It’s called social NETWORKING for a reason
Network, network, network. It’s all you heard from your parents growing up, your professors in college, and every successful person you’ve talked to since. Companies inherently understand (I hope) that employees need to network both inside and outside the company because you never know where that next big sale, or new hire will come from. In a recent press release, Nick Ragone, Director of Ketchum’s Communications & Media Strategy Group says, “Banning these types of sites would be the equivalent of asking your boss, ‘Do you think I really need to make sales calls or network; can’t I just hang out in my office and wait for the phone to ring?’ “
Of course not! Why then, would any company consider blocking a website that allows all of your employees to be in one giant virtual room with the best and brightest from inside and outside your industry? Sounds like a case of short-sighted management to me.
Social networks are the best place to recruit
Yes, I’m aware that “passive job seeker” is the big buzzword in recruiting these days, but there’s a reason for that. Passive job seekers are the people your company really wants to recruit. They are the ones who are perfectly happy in their situation. They make a good salary, they enjoy the people they work with, and their employers are happy with their performance. But they still hang out on social networks, they’re actively involved in online communities, and they read blogs. And they will listen to a more attractive job offer if your company can create the online presence you need to connect with these people.
Active job seekers on the other hand, are actively searching for a job for a reason. They’re on Monster, CareerBuilder, and JobFox because they really want to get out of their situation. But, chances are, they are in a less than perfect job because they couldn’t get anything better. You may find the occasional gem of a resume in your inbox, but you’d be much better served to connect with the people you really want through Linkedin, Twitter, or Brazen Careerist.
Social media can directly impact your bottom line
Social networks and blogs are very much about networking, connections and conversation, but if your company big whigs won’t go for anything that doesn’t directly impact the bottom line, show them that social media can do that too.
that Marriott made more than $5 million in bookings from people who clicked through to the reservation page from Marriott’s corporate blog. I don’t know the exact traffic numbers for Marriott’s blog, but I do know that the longer blogs are around, and the more you write the more direct traffic you get. And in this case, an increase in direct traffic will no doubt lead to an increase in revenue.
If you hired right, your employees will not waste work time on social media
Ketchum’s press release pretty much sums it up when they say, “Yes, there are a few bad apples that may waste time on these tools, but they will find ways to waste time even if they don’t have social networking sites – they will find something else to distract them.”
Top employees, the employees you should hire, will spend time on social networking sites, but they will not do it at the expense of getting their work done. There are only two possible reasons that your employees are wasting time on these sites. One reason is that you hired the wrong people, and you should get rid of them ASAP. The other option is maybe your company needs to provide more work to employees or re-think how you define employee engagement.
Some companies are so obsessed with controlling employees, they’ve failed to see that banning social networking at work is no different than controlling the number of employees who received a PC in the ’80s and limiting the number of employees with internet access in the ’90s. And we all know what a great idea that was. So go ahead, ban social networking at your company. But do so at your own peril.
Ryan Healy is the COO/Co-Founder of Brazen Careerist and regularly writes and speaks on all things Gen Y, and Entrepreneurship