Paying Employees to be Social


How many employers actually have written in their job descriptions, and performance plans that they should spend several hours a week being connected and actively participating in social media?  I’m going out on a limb to say somewhere around 5% and they are in marketing or sales.

Yet with LinkedIn just announcing that they hit the 200 Million mark this past week, a lot of people are connected.  Now I realize that LinkedIn is not the only social environment out there, there are at least a few billion on the others, LinkedIn is known as a professional social environment; where people post and apply for work, the online resume if you will, and connect with people they wish to do business with.

Yet on any given day, a lot of people are spending a lot of time catching up with what their connections are doing and saying.  I have to wonder how much time is devoted to online social versus performing the task the employer is paying the employee to do.

Certain jobs need to be connected to these environments to facilitate sales or increase marketing presence, and yet for the rest of the workforce they rob from the available time to get things done.  Even an hour a day is a half-day a week not spent working.  Can we really afford to pay employees to be social?

I know one company that monitors internet activity and reports hours monthly spent on particular websites.  They also have a policy in place that allows for a set amount of time to be social, and employees are counseled when they abuse the privilege.  Although it is sad to have this in place, it has been an effective tool to keep employees focused on working.

What are your thoughts?

 

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