Should an employer have some kind of claim on your online activities?The workplace of the future will likely say yes.
Your employer won’t be able to log in to your Facebook or Twitter account, but it will subtly and not-so subtly tell you what you should be doing on those sites.
Companies are starting to think they have a claim on social media accounts because they are being forced to train workers about them.
Older workers might be fine with using Facebook to post photos, but clueless on how to use a Facebook group to communicate or how to use check-ins to locate hot prospects.
“They have a comfort not just with Twitter and Facebook but with all social media, including social discovery apps like Glancee, Banjo and Highlight. All of us will have to develop a Millennial mindset to stay employable in the workplace.”
Photo: Future Workplace
So companies like Dell, Intel, Unisys, GAP, Pepsi are starting to do mandatory training on how to use these tools, Meister says.They aren’t just training employees how to use these sites, but how to represent the company to their friends. “What should you not be sharing? What can you share in a responsible way that helps the company build its brand in the market place?” says Meister.
For instance, when a company launches new product, friends on Facebook might ask what the employee thinks of it. Employees should know what they can safely say without getting in trouble at work. That seems fair.
But should the company go so far as to ask employees to use their personal social networks to help market brands or products?
Pepsi is playing with idea now. It did research that showed that among its 300,000 employees each person has on average had about 130 friends on Facebook. That’s a giant social network to tap when it launches a new flavour. They added share buttons on internal newsletters and trained employees how to post these kinds of internal articles to their friends, Meister says.
It’s a small leap from asking to expecting.
If a company takes on the responsibility of training workers to use social media for their jobs, is it entitled to a quid pro quo telling employees to post marketing materials on their social networks?