Being able to trust, or not trust, is not just an issue for the employee or the consumer. We know for a fact that as employers we have a few trust issues ourselves!
In fact, there is a fair amount of research to demonstrate that like employees, employers fall short in this area. According to Charlie Taylor and a study conducted in 2008 where 1,390 employers were surveyed, 83% of employers confirmed that they checked Facebook to see if an employee was really sick. This same survey revealed that 67% of employers disciplined employees as a result of what they saw on Facebook.
The question is, just how many employers even allow their employees to use social networking sites? According to Adam Ostrow and a survey of 1,400 Chief Information Officers with 100 employees or more, 54% of employers completely block access to social networking sites. I would argue that this is not very progressive thinking.
I would challenge employers to think differently about Social Media and social networking sites. For those that think that employees will waste time or release confidential information, I hate to break it to you, but they don't need social networking for that. These employees will have already figured out a way to do this!
So, instead let's take the positive approach and realize that:
1) Social Media is not a fad. It is however, a fundamental shift in the way that we communicate.
2) As more people become mobile communicators, we need adjust the way we communicate.
3) A whole new generation is coming into the workforce using Social Media for communication. Are you just going to ignore these employees? You are if you aren't employing Social Media.
4) Establish guidelines to help employees understand the do's and don'ts of using Social Media.
5) Realize the tremendous potential for collaborating and sharing information.
6) You need to take a leadership role!
In my next posting, I will cover some additional information about trust, or the lack of trust.