50% of Millennials Ignore Company Social Media Policies
Half-way into Cisco's report on network security, that little statistic pops up. And, 27% of these Millenials say they go so far as to change settings on corporate devices to access prohibited applications.
Cisco notes a similar study by Accenture found that 45% of employed Gen Ys use social sites at work.
Games in social networks are hugely popular, so unsurprisingly, Cisco reports a small percentage (4-7%) of employees spend upwards to 68 minutes a day playing games such as FarmVille, Mafia Wars and Cafe World on Facebook.
Goofing off at work is clearly a performance issue. But before rushing to the conclusion that this is all a monumental loss of productivity, it's critical to consider that social networks are key tools in a business environment increasingly dependent upon social and collaborative networks.
Shutting down social networks at the office may be cutting the organization and your people off from vital business activities.
Games are not all bad either. Playing games for brief amounts of time can be valuable brain resters and stimulators. They can help employees refocus on tasks at hand that may, in the end, make them more productive.
FarmVille may not be your corporate game of choice, but think about the benefits of providing brain-healthy games for your employees and how they may even be leveraged to provide training or encourage collaboration within teams. Gaming for business is the wave of the future.
In separate studies Gen Ys report that boredom often drives them to games, shopping or tapping into their social nets while at work.
Have you taken the step of getting insight into how your employees are using social media, when and why? You could uncover valuable insights that can be applied to your organization, or issues that your policies don't cover.
Cisco's report suggests companies may be doing a poor job in training employees on their social media policy. It is needed for both productivity and security. Just because a policy exists doesn't mean employees understand why it impacts them. A good training program also has the benefit of providing feedback and intelligence on employee's needs.
Only 1 in 5 companies in Cisco's study have policies in place for the use of social networking tools, and only 1 in 7 have formal processes for adopting social media for business.
The report summarized various enterprise risks associated with social media.
[ Resources for you ]
Cisco 2010 Midyear Security Report: The Impact of Global Security Threats and Trends in the Enterprise
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Book: Total Engagement| See book description, Total Engagement: Using Games and Virtual Worlds to Change the Way People Work and Businesses Compete |
Book: Learning in 3D: Adding a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration| View book description: Learning in 3D: Adding a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration |
Cotton On was told by Australian regulators that as part of a Fair Work settlement in failing to pay workers for off-hours training sessions it must publish an apology to staff on its offical Facebook page.
The EEOC is a couple of months behind in publishing its final rules regarding social media and GINA - the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act. The headache for employers is remaining in limbo about whether finding medical information while checking out employee or candidate personal web and social media sites risks violating GINA Title II, in effect since last November.
GINA makes merely acquiring genetic information illegal.
For example, if an employer found an employee posting about participating in the "Race for the Cure" to honor of her mother who has breast cancer or caring for his father who has Multiple Sclorsis, simply having acquired that information could be a violation of GINA. "Genetic information" in the statute is broadly defined and includes information on relatives or a dependent from the first to the forth degree.
In a space where sharing (over sharing?) is standard MO, social media can be an employer's mine field.
There is an exception in GINA for "inadvertent acquisition," but it is unlikely a plea of "we didn't think we'd see that" will protect an employer. That argument might have a chance with regulotors in the case of a supervisor who is connected to a subordinate and happens to see such information one day in her Facebook feed.
Social media may wind up being excluded from possible violations by the EEOC under a "commercially and publicly available information" exemption, but that remains to be seen.
Until final rules are released, we encourage employers to be diligent about having relevant social media policies for recruiters and supervisors about trolling social media profiles, as well as carefully documenting how social media was used in employment actions or recruitment. If using outsourced recruiters, be sure they are aware of risks associated with disclosing such information to you.
Final guidelines were expected in May, but have been delayed to the Fall to allow new board members to reexamine public comments on the regulations. GINA applies to private and governmental employers with 15 employees or more.
[ Resources for you ]
Article GINA and Social Media by The Delaware Employment Law Blog