According to a study by DLA Piper, one third of employers have disciplined employees for something posted on social media. The research also found that 21% or employers had to give their employees a warning for posting something derogatory about a colleague. Despite this only a quarter of the businesses within the study have a social media policy.
Despite the issues that many employers are facing with social media internally, they are still using social technologies and platforms to connect with the social customer – 86% of the companies are on Facebook, 78% on LinkedIn, 62% on Twitter and 17% participate in some form within a virtual world.
Many of the companies who participated in the study use social media for both internal and external programs. 80% of the companies in the study use social media to build brand awareness externally. 42% using social to recruit top talent in the marketplace. What’s surprising is that 39% are using social technologies for employee communication and employee engagement.
Of the employees who use social media 14% have posted a status update or tweeted about work issues, 22% posted a status update or tweeted about a colleague, 28% have posted photos of colleagues or business activities and only 1% have posted confidential business information.
The study also reveals that the use of social media is landing these same employees in hot water. 21% of employers have taken disciplinary proceedings because of information an employee has displayed on a social media site about another employees or about their specific activities at work; and roughly 30% of employers have taken disciplinary proceedings because of the level of usage of social media sites while at work.
Clearly, one take away from this study is that organizations today should have well written and articulate social media policies that shape the way employees use social media to communicate.