Think allowing employees to use social media at work is a recipe for disaster? Before turning your small business into a Facebook-free zone, consider these possible benefits the company might reap by allowing workers to stay connected:
Increased productivity: People need short breaks during the workday to maintain energy and focus. One team member may enjoy grabbing a cup of coffee between tasks, while another may prefer checking Twitter. In either case, the brief respite can help them return to work refreshed – giving you a small business of happier, more engaged employees capable of greater output.
Improved relations: Allowing usage of social media demonstrates that you view employees as professionals capable of monitoring their own behavior. The respect shown to your staff is likely to be repaid with greater loyalty and commitment to helping your small business succeed.
Better use of your time: Small business owners are too busy to add “policing social media” to their list of responsibilities. If you impose a ban, employees who really want to check Facebook will switch screens when you come near or sneak out to look at it on their phone. A better strategy is to set work goals for each person. If objectives are met consistently, don’t worry about time spent on social media. But if results are lacking, speak with the offender one-on-one about time-wasters that may be impeding productivity.
Free publicity: Did you know that your employees likely have a 10-times larger social media following than the company itself? When they share pictures of your staff Halloween party or write about the interesting conference they attended, those in their network become more familiar with your small business. Further introduce their acquaintances to your brand by telling your social media enthusiasts that you whole-heartedly support sharing articles from the corporate site. Readers likely will look more favorably on information coming from an employee than the same message presented through direct marketing.
Recruitment tool: Great employees tend to know other hard-working, talented people. Hearing first-hand about your amazing workplace may encourage them to apply. Likewise, your company’s employment brand grows through your employees’ actions, so encourage them to identify where they work. When a staff member writes a thought-provoking post on LinkedIn or earns a reputation as a leader of an online group, your small business gains respect and exposure. And if your employees feels comfortable doing so, they might even give members of their online networks a heads-up when a job opening arises at your small business – adding a valuable new layer to your recruitment efforts.
Want more advice and resources for building your small business? Learn about the essential elements of a standout recruitment strategy.