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Author: Julia Alberts
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To Tweet or Not To Tweet

It is needless to say that Social Networking has taken the world by a storm. In fact, it often tends to envelope it in its own virtual world.

Checking ones profile is more like brushing your teeth after one wakes up in the morning: part of a daily routine. It is how a brain has come to function since Mark Zukerberg and many like him had a “light bulb” moment.

But like the cliché goes: there is time to work and then there is time to play. When you enter into a professional field things tend to get a little more complicated.

Now that we have established how vital Social Networking has become, it is also important to realize that there is a time for everything.

However, for a company to restrict its employees from using Facebook, Twitter or other mind-boggling networks, seems harsh and sometimes unnecessary.

A company should adopt a set of policies regarding the use of social networks and should expect its employees to abide by it.

These policies can be strict or lenient depending on what the company really requires its employees to accomplish in a day. For instance, letting an employee check his or her status on Facebook during lunch break doesn’t seem hard to swallow.

At the same time allowing them to update their profiles without monitoring their activities can be reckless and at times dangerous.

With liberty comes freedom of speech. And this right of freedom of speech can often be abusive. A company’s policy should deal with nursing the rights of privacy and preventing the use of language that could sound offensive to anyone.

Restricting your employees from using social networks can be pretty frustrating to them. And in more serious cases, it can even lead to the majority of them finding work places where the policies are not so strict.

And that clearly would not serve any purpose. Giving the employees the liberty to practice a little of autonomy as well otherwise people feel suffocated at their own workplace.

Given the enormity of the web, they will find one way or another to connect to the social network even if they are not allowed to. And that not only costs valuable time but resources as well.

A more positive perspective of having a flexible social networking policy is the fact that it could be used for the greater good of the company itself.

Allowing its employees to link their profile to the company they work for and bring the whole staff together under one roof and create a friendlier environment. In fact, it might even attract more employees to the firm.

For example, if Sally talks about the privileges her company offers to her friend Vanessa, it might just spark her interests into looking into the company in general. That would lead to a pretty full HR department.

Another trend that we have seen evolving is the new idea of making pages and groups in the company to invite the employees in a healthy conversation about a particular topic.

This idea could also be used to promote the company against those of its foes. It could give its employees a solid platform to come and discuss what each of them feels about a particular situation. And maybe even come to a decision unanimously.

Then there are sites like Linkedln that work on bringing professionals together on the same platform and can be used for various other reasons. It a popular site that is used by many professionals to not only look for work but update their resumes.

On the other hand many companies, and most of those that have gained a pretty good reputation, look for good employees on the same site. So the road goes both ways. It is just in the interest of a person as to how it is really used.

The key to any company’s social networking policy is to make sure to clarify its employees on the language that is to be used. Keeping sex, politics, religion and family out of the picture should be the foremost step.

No one wants to know what your marital status is, or if you are available or not. Put yourself in your employers’ shoes for a second.

Would you want to know what your employees did on their weekend? Or if they all gathered together, what they talked about you, being their boss? The answer is a flat out no.

Having a planned social networking policy plays a vital role when it comes to handling how work is done. And having your employees abide by them is just as important.

Freedom of speech is the right of everyone human being who ever walked on this planet but abusing those rights could and should lead to probable consequences.


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