Cisco released the first part of their three-part Connected World Report for 2011 on September 21st, 2011. The focus of this year’s report is college students and the recently employed (ages 18-29). The 1412 young employees were from 14 countries, not working for the IT department, and not working for non-profits or market research firms. (I mention this because often companies think that social media access matters only to employees in the engineering department.) The results confirmed what I’ve been hearing anecdotally:
- More than half of the respondents cite the internet as an “integral part” of their lives, calling it more essential than owning a car or dating;
- 45% percent of employees would accept a lower-paying job if it had more flexibility on device choice, social media access, and mobility;
- 64% percent of college students would ask about social media usage policies during job interviews;
- 41% percent said their companies marketed a flexible device and social media policy to recruit and attract them;
- 7 out of 10 say they have “friended” their managers and coworkers on Facebook; and
- 56% percent replied that if they encountered a company that banned access to social media, they would not accept the job offer.
We’ve been saying for a while that a Social Media Policy is critical for providing guidance to employees regarding what you’d like them to do, as well as what you’d like them not to do. This information underlines the importance of a carefully-crafted, collaboratively-prepared Social Media Policy that reflects your organization’s culture and values. Despite this, research shows that only about 25% of organizations have a Social Media Policy, with another 20% working on it. A study of 1,400 CIO’s by Robert Half Technology reports 54% of U.S. companies ban workers from using social networking sites on the job (how’s that for a disconnect?). Recent decisions by the National Labor Relations Board make an up-to-date policy even more critical.
Jean Young, ISM’s expert on Social Media Policy, and I will be giving a free webinar on Developing a Social Media Policy on November 15th at 1:00 EST. Please take our Social Media Survey prior to the webinar (Go towww.ismguide.comand to the link at the upper right hand corner) and then join us to discuss how to create and leverage your Social Media Policy.