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Workplace social media policies must account for generational issues

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in The Legal Workplace Blog

Cisco recently interviewed 3,600 Gen Y College students and workers between the ages of 18 and 30. The purpose of the survey was to gauge the influence of social media, mobile devices, and the Internet on that generation's job choices. The results (via Gen Y Hub) say a lot about how companies should be managing the divergent expectations of different generations in the workplace.

  • 2 out of every 3 college students will ask a prospective employer about its social media policy during a job interview.
  • If a company bans the access of social media in the workplace, 56 percent either will not accept a job or will ignore the policy.
  • 1 out of every 3 value social media freedom over salary.
  • Approximately 70 percent believe that corporate devices should also be used to access personal social media accounts.

Generational issues might be the most important interpersonal aspect of managing social media in the workplace. Yet, this issue is rarely discussed. Each generation has a very different idea both about the role of technology in their daily lives, and the impact of technology on their concepts of personal privacy. A policy that only recognizes the interests of one generation will chase away the others. Take the time to craft a workplace technology program that properly accounts for the divergent ideas of Boomers, X-ers, and Y'ers.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jon Hyman March 16, 2013 at 11:47 am

How do you regulate what employes do on their mobile devices from work? I don’t believe workplace bans on social media are feasible because of the proliferation of mobile phones.


walter March 16, 2013 at 11:04 am

I block social media in my company. What right???? They can go on it when at home or wherever and say whatever they want. I pay the salary, you work for me. But then I am an old-fashioned guy with old fashioned values. If they would rather quit the job, be my guest, you obviously have other priorities than working.


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