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Blog - How to stop employees using Facebook in work time

How to stop employees using Facebook in work time

Posted by Tracy Powley 28/04/16

Social MediaNew research reveals that wasting time on social media at work could cost the UK £25.8 billion annually, or £824 per employee.

The study from showed that 35% of staff admit to spending over an hour daily on Facebook at work. 

But while it is easy to point the finger at employees and moan about them wasting company time, organisations must also take some responsibility for ensuring employees know what the guidelines are for social media use. 

Other research suggests 73% of businesses may never tell their employees how to use social media properly. They just expect people to know what is OK and what isn’t and trust that everything will be OK. 

But as with anything to do with behaviour at work, organisations should be clear and explicit about what is appropriate and inappropriate. 

The following steps will help to manage inappropriate use…

  • have a policy or set of guidelines on social media use, which are clear and succinct
  • use examples to make the policy meaningful for people eg when asking people not to disclose confidential information, offer some examples of what confidential information might be
  • be clear about where the boundaries are; for example, it may be fine and indeed you may encourage your employees to network on LinkedIn to fulfill business objectives, but it probably isn’t acceptable for people to load up holiday snaps on facebook in work time
  • a key step is to ensure guidelines are not just pointed to on the intranet or in a handbook– no one will read them - get managers talking to their teams and departments about what is OK and what isn’t, so that they can clarify and discuss how it might affect their particular role
  • and finally ensure your managers are confident in implementing the policy... if they are not confident about how to step in and have a conversation about where the lines are, they are unlikely to deal with situations where they should.

Having a policy on social media use is only the first step; giving employees a chance to question, discuss and understand it is the far more powerful step and will minimise the sort of time wasting highlighted in the survey and the “difficult conversations” which may need to follow to manage the offending employees. 

For more guidelines on managing any inappropriate behaviour at work see our workshops and case studies

Or contact us for a chat about how we can support the roll out of a policy or develop your managers’ confidence in dealing with inappropriate behaviour at work

Tracy Powley
Tracy Powley

The way we behave towards each other in the workplace has a direct impact on individual wellbeing, team performance and organisational results. This belief has underpinned our work at Focal Point for over 20 years and has never been more relevant. We are privileged to work with a huge variety of organisations wanting to get workplace behaviour and culture right - and to tackle the inappropriate behaviour that may get in the way of this. Supported by our fantastic team of facilitators and coaches, we are able to make a real difference to peoples’ lives as well as organisational performance. Having worked in both large businesses at management level and in 2 start ups at director level, I am able to combine hands on experience of growing and managing teams - and the associated challenges in creating the right culture - with over 20 years in learning and development. I hold the Certificate in Training Practice and am a member of CIPD. When I am not supporting clients or developing the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...

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