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Facebook: Ban it or embrace it?

At a recent conference of Professional Employer Organizations, some executives gathered in the back of the room. They were chatting about how to deal with employees spending their work time on social media sites like Facebook or MySpace. It was interesting to me that there were strong opinions on both sides of the argument.

One employer said he was firing someone who was spending hours updating his Facebook status all day long. (I thought it was pretty stupid of the employee to do if he knew his boss could see it). But other top execs thought it crucial for workplaces to create a culture that embraces social networking.

Dianna Sheppard, CEO of Advantec, told me all of her employees have a page on Yammer and spend much of their work day interacting with each other and clients on the social networking site.

Gregory Hammond of TriNet Total HR Services says he wants employees who are well connected and interacting with others. He thinks employees who Facebook will be better prepared to contribute to the organization.

Of course, some consumer product companies are trying to promote their offerings and improve customer service through social media sites. Does that make it okay for an employee to Twitter at work?

Personally, I struggle with balancing work, family and social media. It's a topic I wrote about yesterdayin my Miami Herald column. I gave some tips from experts.

What do you think about employees on Facebook or social media sites during the work day?

Comments

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Ernesto Sosa

Social Media is a reality that is driving change and putting innovation into traditional business models all around the world. Smart companies are investing in employee education and consulting to leverage the power of the Web 2.0 and align these efforts with business goals. The great challenge is how to embrace all these new technologies and manage change correctly, since there is no "one size fits all" solution and depending on business size, industry, business culture, among others, some tools work better than others. In our experience education and professional guidance are the two main triggers to develop a successful SM strategy in any organization.

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