Monday’s Dilbert was awesome. It is on my hard copy Dilbert calendar. It goes something like this:
Pointy Haired Boss to Alice.
“Alice, this year you did the work of four people and made over $10 million for the company.”
“But according to our web monitoring software, you used company resources to look at a weather web site.”
I get calls frequently with clients asking about how to keep employees from wasting time on facebook, MySpace, et al. Should they define policies for Web usage or b) block or monitor usage or c) …..
Indeed some organizations that are concerned about lost worker productivity due to social networking will block access to social sites or threaten to monitor their use (which usually isn’t done because of expense and a general lack of effectiveness). This is done by some but not considered to be a good practice overall. It is treating a symptom (you can’t “block” out all the ways your employees can waste time) and can halt productive uses of the Web in general and social sites in particular.
Remember the Department of Defense blocking access to social sites.
The better or best practice is to develop and publish a Web participation guideline or policy that sets some overall guidelines on behaviors. It should give overall behavioral guidance, explain some good uses and why they are good, and explain some bad uses and why they are bad. Avoid blanket restrictions or punishment but instead have responsibility of an individual’s productivity lie with his/her manager. I interviewed with a reporter for about 30 minutes earlier this year and although we talked about many aspects of social computing, much to my chagrin, he quoted one thing, “Anthony Bradley says people worried about employee productivity loss due to social computing are bad managers.” I’m pretty sure I got the quote wrong (I couldn’t find it on the Web) but then again so did he. I have published a few pieces of research on the topic. Here they are (there is a cost to access these if not a Gartner client).
- Five Major Challenges Organizations Face Regarding Social Software
- Toolkit: Establishing Policy for Social Software Applications
- The Business Impact of Social Computing on Company Governance
- Establishing Policies for Social Application Participation
What have you experienced?
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