graphic of social media and culture

Does Social Media Affect Your Culture?

Social media at work – do you love it or hate it? Do you see it as a useless distraction and productivity killer? Or do you see it as a (free) collaborative tool for your employees? No matter what you think, social media could be affecting your company culture without you realizing it.

The Positives

Lorenzo Bizzi, with the Department of Management at California State University, did a study that showed that employees who connected with their coworkers on social media during work hours tended to be more motivated, more innovative and more productive.

Using social media during work encourages employees to engage with each other. And, engaged workers tend to be happier and more productive. That sounds pretty good, huh?

The Negatives

Unfortunately, using social media during work hours isn’t all good. Bizzi’s study showed that employees who connected with people outside of work on social media during work hours tended to be less productive and less motivated.

The worst part? Employees who used social media during work (whether to connect with outsiders or coworkers) seemed to leave their company more often. Their social media connections could help them find a better job, so they jump ship. High turnover can have a huge impact on your company’s finances, morale, and company culture.

Can You Make Social Media Work for You?

Sure, you can create a social media policy that prohibits your employees from using it during work hours, but people will always find a way to sneak a few minutes in throughout the day. Not to mention that it’s going to be really hard for whoever runs your company’s accounts to just ignore their personal profiles when they’re sharing a company post.

Instead of banning social media completely, try to make it work for you. Since employees who engage with their coworkers on social media tend to be more motivated and productive, figure out how to encourage your employees to engage with each other.

One option is to create a company Facebook group for your employees. The group will encourage collaboration and productivity. You might have some people in your company with great ideas, but who are a little afraid to share them in person. They’ll probably be more willing to share their ideas online.

Plus, since everyone in the company can see what’s going on in the group, your employees probably won’t talk about their plans to look for another job in it. They’ll build relationships with their coworkers that would be hard to lose if they switched jobs.

Having a company-wide Facebook group can help flatten the company’s hierarchy. Your employees can connect with you and anyone else in a leadership position in an open and honest way.

Do you use social media to strengthen your company culture? Tell us how!