Studies: Using social networking at work

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We all use them, we all use them on a daily basis and who has had success getting engaged loves them: social networks. Now, Deloitte comes up with some interesting insight in the view CEO’s use social networking for their companies reputation. According to the third annual Deloitte LLP Ethics & Workplace survey, 60% of business executives believe they have a right to know how employees portray themselves and their organizations in online social networks. Yes, a lot of us know the importance of social networks on our business, … and for our personal branding today. But not all…

What strikes about the results is that only 17% of executives surveyed say they have programs in place to monitor. 55% of executives admitted that their companies do not have an official policy for social networks. 22% would like to use social networks, but don’t know how. Seems unbelievable but we all have to understand that the use and benefit of social networks might differ from industry sector to industry sector.

Having heard this in some conversations with companies in the last months, I tweeted the Intel social media guidelines for companies that have not yet seen an example of how to handle employees that engage in social media or social networking. It’s for those who ‚participate in social media on behalf of Intel to be trained, to understand and to follow these guidelines.‘ And yes, this is a short and easy to read and understand version. The IBM guidelines read a bit more complex but should be understandable for every executive.

On the other hand the study shows that nearly half of the surveyed employees (49%) indicate concrete guidelines will not have any influence on their behavior online. And they disagree that the company should be looking in their social networking activities intensely (53%). Especially the young employees in companies between 18–34 years think employers should not be monitoring their online activity (63%).

Deloitte’s Sharon Allen, chairman of the board, makes clear that using social networks bears also a risk for employees and employers.

“While the decision to post videos, pictures, thoughts, experiences and observations is personal, a single act can create far reaching ethical consequences for individuals as well as employers. Therefore, it is important for executives to be mindful of the implications of this connected world and to elevate the discussion about the risks associated with it to the highest levels of leadership.”

Spot On!
Personal branding becomes more important for employees and goes hand-in-hand with companies having a close eye on it in the future. Especially from an human resources perspective as we could see this week in the research results by Jobvite. So, employees should be aware of the point that employers will be monitoring social networking activities in the future more than in the past. It seems that there is some valid reason for my personal web manager vision.

“One-third of employees surveyed never consider what their boss or customers might think before posting material online,” states Sharon Allen, chairman of the board, Deloitte LLP. “This fact alone reinforces how vulnerable brands are as a result of the increased use of social networks. As business leaders, it is critical that we continue to foster solid values-based cultures that encourage employees to behave ethically regardless of the venue.”

The US telephone survey was conducted by Opinion Research on behalf of Deloitte LLP among 2,008 employed adults (1,000 men and 1,008 women 18 years of age and older).

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  1. Erst denken, dann posten - fuellhaas.com - Online Reputation Management, Personal Branding und Social Media am 01.06.2009 18:00 

    […] auch Studies: Using social networking at work (The Strategy Web) Official Deloitte Press Release (PR Newswire) Download: 2009 Deloitte LLP Ethics & Workplace […]

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