Social media has become a huge influence in the way Americans communicate and connect today. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn help employees in the workforce to “collaborate, share ideas and solve problems” says Lorenzo Bizza in a study published in the Harvard Business Review. His research on 277 employees at a healthcare organization has shown that 82% of employees think that social media can improve work relationships and 60% believe social media support decision-making processes.
In the first part of the study Bizza found that employees who were engaged on social media with their coworkers tend to be “motivated in their jobs and showed initiative at work… and [came] up with innovative ideas.” But when employees who interact with people outside the company they are distracted and unproductive. 50% of employers who worry about social media as a productivity killer actually block it from the workplace. 60% of employees used social media just for leisure and make up the majority of those who get distracted by it.
Employees more likely to leave
The second finding in the study presents another problem for employers. Social media during work hours threatened employee retention more than just productivity. Employees who engaged in social media outside the organization were also 76% more likely to leave out of interest in potential employers. They’d research new organizations and make new work connections. So employers have a situation where their employees who use social media make better workers but are also more likely to leave out of ambitious networking.
Bizzi suggests a solutions to this retention risk social media threatens a company with. Employers can train “employees focus on positive social media behaviors” that can increase attachment and satisfaction. Also, managers can create social media groups in which employees would be less likely to “share withdrawal intentions or discussions about external job opportunities.”