By Tim Kolacz
In a previous article, I wrote about being productive versus being busy. In today’s technology driven society, it is ever increasingly difficult to have your employees focus all day. There needs to be some interaction either with other people or with Social Media to keep people sane. Your employees must be able to go onto iFunny, Twitter or Snapchat at some point; the rub is this, how to maintain an even keel on these activities.
Here are some good first steps to take to facilitate a good work environment, while still having some rules in place to make sure your people stay on point during the day.
Establish a baseline that defines what is reasonable. It might be the employee using the device for 15 to 20 minutes during their lunch or on a break. As the employer, you need to define this and then give each employee this information so that they are all well aware of what is acceptable. This also translates to the employee using their personal devices on the company Wi-Fi. If they are connected in to the company on their own device, you should limit the types of websites that can be accessed over the Wi-Fi. What you don’t want is to have a NSFW site pop up on someone’s phone and then have it be seen by another employee. If it is on their own connection, the company is at a far less precarious position.
Be precise and spell out the repercussions if there is abuse of the protocols in place for the use of Social Media. Ensuring the employees know what is company property and that you monitor that property will allow you to firmly monitor and justly discipline employees for their actions. Having this information in the company handbook and provided as addendums to the employees will help when you are moving towards firing the employee who is not following the rules that are in place.
Apply the policies consistently, to all employees, including management. If the employee sees that a manager is on Social Media consistently and it is not work related, they will believe that the rules no longer apply to them and they will begin to use it more often. This can cause problems as the employee will feel that the manager is getting special treatment. Even if they are getting special treatment, it is in the best interest of the company to make the policies apply company wide.
Monitor the activity on your network. This is a must; not only for your sanity, but also for the good of the employees as a whole. You do not want to have your employees being on Twitter all day long and not being productive as it will cost more than just the one person’s time. It will also cost their surrounding co-workers productivity too. They may be laughing or sharing what they are looking at and this can cause the other employees to stop what they are doing and stop being productive.
Remember, the employees need to check on things during the day, but as long as guidelines are put in place, you can have the best of both worlds. Plus, LinkedIn and other business related Social Media networks are good for productivity and can increase sales and profits. At the end of the day, all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy. And we can’t have that.
Tim Kolacz can be reached at 951-779-8730 and likes to go north to Yosemite on vacation as well.