Discussions

Social Media in the Workplace

Posted by Kate Harbaugh @kateharbaugh, Mon, May 13 12:15pm

Hello Mayo Clinic Social Media,

I am looking for your support and feedback on social media use in the workplace.

1) Does your organization allow its employees to access social media platforms (FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) from their work computers?
2) If so, how long has it been in place and have you found it to impact employee productivity?

Thank you so very much for your support and feedback.

Hi Kate! Our employees cannot access any social media from their work computers. We are attempting to get that changed as our social media presence has increased since the New Year.

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Our employees cannot access social media from their work computers. I certainly understand the reasoning behind it, but it does hinder some of the things I'd like to do to drive more traffic to/through social.

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There are arguments both for and against desk access to Social Media for staff. I think it boils down to two questions:
1. Do you really trust your staff?
2. Do you believe that Social Media can be leveraged to scale ideas?

For example, let's say that once a month your CEO sends out a company-wide email ( "Hey everyone, we have an effort this month to decreases distracted driving deaths in out county. We have a nice 1 minute video on Facebook how to set up Androids and iPhones default "no call while driving mode" Could you please take a moment and share this on your personal Facebook page? " ).

This could result in a posting of this video 1000 times within a community on a given day, sharing an actionable meme which has a specific ( and perhaps even measurable) mortality impact.

Here I think it is important to recognize that it's the confluence of different physical and digital networks (Facebook – Digital, Email- Digital, Office – Physical) which is so powerful. ( A modern example of the power of digital and physical confluence? think of Trump Twitter with Trump Rallies).

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@kaylaschaffer31

Hi Kate! Our employees cannot access any social media from their work computers. We are attempting to get that changed as our social media presence has increased since the New Year.

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Thank you, Kayla! Sincerely appreciated. Very helpful. We're in the exact same space.

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@staceybiggs

Our employees cannot access social media from their work computers. I certainly understand the reasoning behind it, but it does hinder some of the things I'd like to do to drive more traffic to/through social.

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Thank you, Stacey. We're in the same situation and feel similarly. I appreciate your feedback!

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@matthewrehrl

There are arguments both for and against desk access to Social Media for staff. I think it boils down to two questions:
1. Do you really trust your staff?
2. Do you believe that Social Media can be leveraged to scale ideas?

For example, let's say that once a month your CEO sends out a company-wide email ( "Hey everyone, we have an effort this month to decreases distracted driving deaths in out county. We have a nice 1 minute video on Facebook how to set up Androids and iPhones default "no call while driving mode" Could you please take a moment and share this on your personal Facebook page? " ).

This could result in a posting of this video 1000 times within a community on a given day, sharing an actionable meme which has a specific ( and perhaps even measurable) mortality impact.

Here I think it is important to recognize that it's the confluence of different physical and digital networks (Facebook – Digital, Email- Digital, Office – Physical) which is so powerful. ( A modern example of the power of digital and physical confluence? think of Trump Twitter with Trump Rallies).

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Thank you for your insights, Matthew. Sincerely appreciated!

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Good afternoon all,

I am afraid that I am in the same boat as most of you in that we too block most employees from desktop access–although we would like that changed.

It did make me think back to a prior organization I worked for and the discussions/debates around access to social media and webmail from work computers.This was back around 2009/10, so Twitter and Facebook were trends that were certainly going to go the way of faxes (if only we knew better) and smartphones were only gaining in popularity.

Like today, the concern was that staff would spend all their day on social media or would circumvent our email platforms by using webmail. So up until that point they were banned those platforms on all company computers.

When making our case, we pointed out two points (that at least I feel helped with the policy change):

1) Smartphones were becoming more popular each day (today they are ubiquitous). Staff were going to pin, post, snap, tweet, poke, or whatever and didn't care if it was a computer, phone, or tablet they accessed. Today, if you encounter a site that is blocked, most users immediately pull out their phone.

2) We noted that if staff are using their personal devices to access Facebook or webmail, we were significantly limited in the disciplinary actions we could take as it was hard to prove what they were doing (they had no obligation to show us). If however, we thought an employees was spending too much of their day on a company supplied computer, we would be well within our rights to view log files and could document the abuse should it be needed in some disciplinary process.

At the end of the day, the policy was changed. I was not aware of any change in staff productivity. I can recall two instances where I was asked to look at an employee's accounts, and I think the social component was more of the straw that broke the camel's back and not the primary offence.

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Great insights here, @jshellenberger

Mayo Clinic has had open access to social for many years and we've seen no drop in productivity and no significant problems with malware. We've long advocated for healthcare organizations to open desktops to social media so employees can appropriately advocate for their organization.

A couple of years ago we created a resource: Making the Case for Employee Access to the Internet, which is posted under the Resource section of this website. Here's the link:
https://socialmedia.mayoclinic.org/counteracting-resistance-to-employee-online-access/

@kaylaschaffer31 @staceybiggs @kateharbaugh – have you advocated for open access? What have been the major concerns? Roadblocks?

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I think you can expect that if you open up social media to 1-2 thousand employees then you will occasionally have some disciplinary problems – however, for me, it always gets back to "What is your mission?"

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@DanHinmon

Great insights here, @jshellenberger

Mayo Clinic has had open access to social for many years and we've seen no drop in productivity and no significant problems with malware. We've long advocated for healthcare organizations to open desktops to social media so employees can appropriately advocate for their organization.

A couple of years ago we created a resource: Making the Case for Employee Access to the Internet, which is posted under the Resource section of this website. Here's the link:
https://socialmedia.mayoclinic.org/counteracting-resistance-to-employee-online-access/

@kaylaschaffer31 @staceybiggs @kateharbaugh – have you advocated for open access? What have been the major concerns? Roadblocks?

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I have not advocated for open access yet, but it is something I've been considering. I fully expect significant push back, but I think there are some good arguments for opening it up. Thank you for the link to the case statement…very helpful!

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We opened access for the last 5+ years at my former health system and worked closely with HR. We incorporated training into new hire orientation and annual online training, and trained leadership as well. We created opportunities to use social media at work such as sharing organizational moments while attending work events (employee awards, major org. announcements) with selfie stations, hashtag signs, etc. We posted public tweets on our digital signage. Our CEO, VPs and nursing leaders were also active on social as part of our thought leadership strategy. We trained a few physicians and designated super users who participated in live FB chats, video Q&A, blogging, tweet chats, etc. These efforts built upon one another over time and created a positive environment for use of social that directly benefitted our recruitment efforts, employee engagement and brand visibility. It wasn't easy and there were early concerns, but worth the effort to push forward.

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@staceybiggs

I have not advocated for open access yet, but it is something I've been considering. I fully expect significant push back, but I think there are some good arguments for opening it up. Thank you for the link to the case statement…very helpful!

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If you decide to advocate open access, let us know, @staceybiggs. I know @LeeAase would be willing to have a call with your leadership to support you. We might also be able to involve our Mayo Clinic legal counsel.

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@stacykonline

We opened access for the last 5+ years at my former health system and worked closely with HR. We incorporated training into new hire orientation and annual online training, and trained leadership as well. We created opportunities to use social media at work such as sharing organizational moments while attending work events (employee awards, major org. announcements) with selfie stations, hashtag signs, etc. We posted public tweets on our digital signage. Our CEO, VPs and nursing leaders were also active on social as part of our thought leadership strategy. We trained a few physicians and designated super users who participated in live FB chats, video Q&A, blogging, tweet chats, etc. These efforts built upon one another over time and created a positive environment for use of social that directly benefitted our recruitment efforts, employee engagement and brand visibility. It wasn't easy and there were early concerns, but worth the effort to push forward.

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Very impressive strategy, @stacykonline. I really like the idea of posting public tweets on your digital signage. So smart! How did you identify superusers and the right physicians?

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Most team members are blocked from social media on work devices throughout our system. We were recently able to at least get all PR/MarCom team members access. Baby steps….

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@DanHinmon

Very impressive strategy, @stacykonline. I really like the idea of posting public tweets on your digital signage. So smart! How did you identify superusers and the right physicians?

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Thank you, @DanHinmon. Regarding social superusers (employees including physicians), we looked for people who were already our performance superstars because of their patient ratings, formal and informal leadership, quality care, stellar performance, etc. and included them in our trainings. In a short time, you take notice of the people who enjoy it and are natural brand ambassadors online. They were seen as potential superusers to involve in trying new ideas with our team.

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