Cyberbullying, identity theft, tarnished brand reputations . . . Social media presents companies with a wide variety of threats –both internally and externally. But, does your workplace have policies in place to help mitigate these risks?
Surprisingly, it seems that most managers have been dealing with social media issues through a set of general principles rather than by creating specific policies. Isn’t it about time to get more proactive?
A new survey from the Proskauer International Labor & Employment Group, suggests that there is a growing awareness that explicit social media policies and practices are needed to head off problems before they occur. At the same time, though, the research also shows that many companies have much more work to do if they want to help prevent headaches (or worse) from the misuse of social media channels.
The survey asked 10 questions aimed at capturing current attitudes and practices concerning social media in the workplace. 120 multinational employers responded.
Among the key findings:
- Nearly half of the respondents do not have social media and networking policies in place, despite the fact that more than three-quarters use social networking for business purposes.
- Forty-three percent of the respondents said their employees have misused social networks, and nearly a third have taken disciplinary action against employees in relation to such misuse.
- More than three-quarters (76 percent) of businesses use social networking for business. Of these, 70 percent began in the last three years.
- Nearly one-third (29 percent) of businesses actively block employees’ access to social networking sites. Only 27 percent monitor employee use of social networking sites.
- Despite the widespread use and misuse of social networking at work, 45 percent of all businesses still do not have social networking policies.
There’s no question that today’s social networking channels are tremendously valuable, and it’s clear that businesses are learning to use them in many new and exciting ways. (See earlier posts about how companies are using social media not just for marketing, but also for hiring and as a key component of other strategic imperatives, as well.)
Even so, these survey results are a reminder to keep our eyes open and our feet on the ground. Why not slow down (just a bit) and put policies in place to mitigate some of the risks?