Explain how social media can contribute to employee productivity. Gives an example.
How does social media make employers more productive? Give an example.
What are some of the costs of social media in organizations? Give examples.
Social Media Management
Social media has not only infiltrated people’s lives but also businesses across the world. Today, large and small firms encourage the adoption and management of social media sites in their daily operations because of the associated benefits; while also implementing staff policies to reduce distractive use of such sites during work hours. Examples of advantages of social media use in organizations include enhancing the reputation of businesses, building brand awareness, and fostering higher sales by marketing their products to a broader audience. Besides the direct benefits accrued to corporations, social media also shows the potential of enhancing employee productivity at the workplace by easing the worker’s everyday workload and boosting their morale.
Analysis of information from the textbook reveals that social media can contribute to employee productivity by boosting the latter’s morale to continue working on a given task. Most notably, morale in this context can be enhanced through the short breaks that an employee takes during work hours to check their Facebook and Twitter pages. For example, in a study conducted by Microsoft on employees of a large Australian university on the usage of Facebook at work, the researchers discovered that the use of social media for personal purposes allowed greater focus among employees during work times (Francois et al., 2013). Also, in his study, Fahmy found that 70% of employees who used the internet for personal surfing experienced higher concentration (cited by Adzovie et al., 2017). Fundamentally, social media use can enhance productivity by providing unofficial mini-breaks, which boosts employee’s morale to return to their tasks with improved efficiency and concentration.
Furthermore, social media can contribute to employee productivity by easing the worker’s everyday workload. For example, in a survey conducted by Microsoft on enterprises that use social media, 77% of the participants reported using new technologies to help them enhance their productivity at work (“Microsoft survey”, n.d.). Most notably, social media tools such as Facebook can be used to share information with coworkers at a go, thus reducing the workload of sending separate documents to different stakeholders, which can be time-consuming. Besides, through the use of social tools such as video conferencing, employees can save on the time required to travel and meet clients and utilize the time on other essential tasks at the workplace.
Managers often have different sentiments about social media use at the workplace- some believe it is a distraction to employees and thus implement bans on specific social media channels. In contrast, others perceive it as a tool for keeping employees engaged in their tasks. Despite the existence of varying opinions, the use of social media in enterprises remains inevitable, mainly because of the evolving nature of businesses and consumers’ purchasing behavior. To a significant extent, like employees, employers today are gradually adopting social media in their everyday operations because the sites make the latter more productive by connecting them with stakeholders over distances and helping employers expand their boundaries.
Information from the course materials suggests that social media makes employers more productive by connecting the latter with distant stakeholders. For example, Apple has factories in other countries besides the United States, including China. Rather than traveling to subsidiary firms to supervise work and give instructions, employers located in the company’s headquarters can connect in real-time with supervisors in distant locations over social media tools and obtain and disseminate information related to work. By fostering distant communications, social media makes employers more productive as their input can be utilized by several distant stakeholders affiliated with an organization.
Furthermore, social media makes employers more productive by helping the latter expand their boundaries. As noted in the textbook, social networks allow employers to utilize knowledge, skills, and experience of people that are not employed by an organization (Kinicki & Williams, 2012). For example, social networking sites such as Facebook bring together experts from different companies and facilitates the exchange of information and experiences that can be helpful to employers in terms of enhancing their knowledge and innovativeness. Consequently, employers become more productive as the knowledge and skills acquired from people outside the organization are used to guide their practices within their companies.
Despite the associated benefits such as enhancing employee productivity and making employers more productive, social media can have a downside on enterprises. Often, the adverse effects of social media in organizations can be quantified in terms of cost. As information from the course material suggests, some of the costs of social media in organizations include billions lost each year due to lost productivity and accrued expenses of acquiring bandwidth services in companies.
The most significant cost associated with social media use in organizations is lost productivity. For example, it is argued that $85 billion is lost annually due to the use of the internet at the workplace (Kinicki & Williams, 2012). Most notably, employees tend to spend a considerable fraction of their time at work cyberloafing, thus lowering productivity in work-related tasks that contribute to organizational profitability.
Furthermore, social media usage in enterprises is associated with substantial bandwidth costs. For example, in firms where social media use is adopted across departments, the management is compelled to finance bandwidth that has high megabits per second (Mbps) to enhance speed in exchange of information within and outside the firm. Bandwidth pricing can sometimes be high depending on the selected Mbps package, thus imposing additional costs to organizations that use social media in their daily operations.
“Microsoft survey on enterprise social use and perceptions” (n.d.). Microsoft. https://news.microsoft.com/download/presskits/enterprisesocial/docs/ESCResearchSumPPT.pdf
Adzovie, D.E., Nyieku, I.E., & Keku, J.A. (2017). Influence of Facebook usage on employee productivity: A case of university of cape coast staff. African Journal of Business Management, 11(6), 110-116. https://academicjournals.org/journal/AJBM/article-full-text-pdf/5C9CE9B63503
Francois, A., Hebbani, A., & Rintel, S. (2013). Facebook in the university workplace. Media International Australia, 149, 15-26. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Facebook_in_the_University_Workplace.pdf
Kinicki, A., & Williams, B. (2012). Loose-leaf management (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education. ISBN:0077526732, 9780077526733