Don’t miss out: Social media is becoming a productivity tool

Tim Skinner
FACEBOOK and Twitter long ago moved beyond social media sites and became vital channels for communication, as well a useful tool for businesses and enterprises.
With generation Y weaving social media into every aspect of their lives, businesses that ignore this may cost themselves the talent they need to grow and succeed. If access to social networks isn’t granted, young professionals who expect to have it are likely to seek work at companies that do provide such access. It’s something companies of all sizes need to acknowledge, for both the younger employees and their current workforce.

Social media is hard to control and companies need to apply a high value approach to their social media policies. However, companies need to accept that there is a great deal standing in their way if they prevent the use of social media and a lot of benefits that can actually come from implementing it.

When enterprises allow social media use by the workforce, they provide their employees with the tools they need and foster a culture that is more productive, innovative, and competitive. In fact, companies that block or narrow access to social media will likely find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

Fears around security and data loss are one reason why many businesses don’t embrace social media, but these concerns are likely to be out of proportion with the true level of risk. In any case, risks can be mitigated through the application of technology and user controls. These controls don’t inhibit workers from browsing social media and using it to connect with colleagues, customers and business partners.

Before limiting access to social media, enterprises should consider the business value of social media versus the risk of allowing it. With the passion among young workers for social media and its collaborative powers, businesses are likely to discover the benefits outweigh the risks, provided they find the right balance between acceptance and security.