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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 OfficeBroker.com 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

Stella Chandler and I founded Focal Point on a shared belief that a training course run in isolation doesn't work. We passionately believe there must be support both before and after the training or coaching session itself for it to make a difference. When I am not facilitating sessions with clients or looking at ways to grow the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...

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