Most employers have blocked social networking sites like Facebook on their company computers while simultaneously establishing robust social media policies. It’s not surprising; the reasons to block social media content from company computers are many.
Social Media and Workplace Wellness
The truth is, your workforce is still out there playing FarmVille, tweeting on Twitter, and sharing YouTube content. Maybe it’s time to get social with your employee wellness program, by not only allowing social media use but also by creating a social media presence for your wellness program.
Top Three Reasons to Revisit Social Media Policies
- Your employees are already out there. According to Cisco’s 2010 Midyear Security Report, an alarming 50 percent of surveyed employees admitted to surfing the web socially even though they knew it was against company policy. In addition, 27 percent of respondents took matters into their own hands by reconfiguring the settings on company computers to allow access to previously blocked content.
- Research tells us social networks matter. The Framingham Heart Study is one of the most well-known, comprehensive health studies in the industry. It followed, among other things, the impact of social networks on tobacco use and obesity trends from 1971 to 2003. It turns out that social networks have a very powerful influence on whether and how individuals will change health behavior.
- Quiet leaders might surface through social media. We’re always talking about the importance of employee champions for your wellness program. It’s common for those individuals to take the superhero form of the already-in-shape and always-eats-right marathon runner who wants to encourage her coworkers to be like her. Social media allows the quiet champions—the unassuming former smoker, or the less obvious heart-attack-waiting-to-happen who made small changes over time to improve his health—a platform to speak out, encourage, and quietly motivate their colleagues to take baby steps toward improving health.
Consider How The Good Side of Social Media Can Work for Your Corporate Wellness Initiatives
Using social media to promote your employee wellness program is hard for most executives to buy into because of the productivity concerns. However, this free communication and sharing opportunity might provide more benefit than you expect. Your employees are already out there socializing. Why not meet them where they are with the messages you want them to hear?