Story of the week: Safely weaving social media into the workplace

Nearly 69 percent of Americans have at least one social profile – and for employee benefit professionals, this avenue for broader employee communication has not gone unnoticed. Today’s HR teams often use corporate social media pages as a means to help communicate company and employee benefit updates and to advertise their company’s mission, vision and values.

However, with the majority of the workforce “social engaged,” it also hasn’t gone unnoticed by the executive suite that your employees’ social profiles may contain your company’s name and therefore there’s a public association between the individual and the organization. One negative post, picture, or Tweet could negatively impact a company’s brand reputation.

An employee who spends too much time on social networks also compromises their own productivity and perhaps that of those around them.

Despite these risks, you’d be hard-pressed to find an organization that doesn’t encourage their employees to remain actively engaged to boost corporate posts, grow their professional networks and sell products or services through paid advertising. More than half (52 percent) of businesses report that social media has positively influenced revenue and sales. Additionally, HR and benefits professionals often use social media to publicly recognize their employees, promote the company’s culture and special employee-centric events and even attract new talent.
Most employers and managers have accepted the fact that employees will be checking their social networks. As a result, they have either their security or marketing teams actively tracking their brand. Although social media usage has become an inherent part of the employee experience, more than half of U.S. employers have formal policies in place to further protect against any public misuse. However, these policies do little to protect against cyberthreats.

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