A Balancing Act: How to Manage Social Media in Workplace

With social media penetrating into every walk of our lives, workplace, etc., managing the use of social media as a business tool and its use by the employees in your company can be very arduous. Some companies have a formal social media policy in place, some do not have, but they resolve issues related to social media use under the “electronic communications” or “IT” policies.
These policies are informed to employees via their employee handbook or email. Generally, the policies say that social media use may be monitored and provides guidelines for employee’s social media use on both a professional and personal front.
Interestingly, some companies assign an employee a task of managing social media activities. In general, social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn are used for branding/marketing, external communication, networking, connecting with prospects and sales.
However, some surveys say that, for instance, when a manager learns on a social media platform that he and a co-worker had a mutual interest of anything, let’s say ‘Trekking’, he invited him for the same on a weekend. They had a good time and they even snapped a picture with his new pal, posted it on Instagram and tagged it “(hashtag) besttrekever.”
It’s an amazing thing when you find co-workers who have same interest as yours. Social networking makes it easier to evolve personal relationships with co-workers. On sites like Facebook and Instagram, where people share their likes and dislikes, photos, hobbies, celebrations, people understand their colleagues better that produce a basis for developing a stronger workplace relationships.
Some surveys also found that social media in the workplace has simplified communication, built stronger relationships and improved collaboration. These benefits will positively affect how much an employee likes the job and how loyal he feels to a workplace.
This is because employees want to be friends with co-workers. They spend more hours in the workplace than at home. The more relationships are built and encouraged, the more productive the environment.
The strong social connections at the workplace can make employees more engaged and less likely to leave their jobs.
You should have a balanced social media culture that formed out of your balanced policy. It basically means not completely cutting off employees from social media platforms. If you completely cut off employees from those platforms the environment can become hostile. Sooner or later your employees become disengaged.
However, companies should cautiously consider various implications that each social media network presents and manage the risks accordingly. Adopt a social media policy and procedures that gives clear examples of appropriate and inappropriate use.
HR teams or Managers should ensure that if employees are posting personal comments, then they are personal views only. This will help avoid mishaps, and balance and manage social media in the workplace.