Thanks for your post Charlie. You took the words right out of my...well, keyboard I guess!
Seriously, anyone who has spent any amount of time on social networking sites reading the posts of many young people would recognize the misspellings, lack of proper capitalization and/or punctuation, and SMS text message slang being used in place of actual words.
If the argument is that I need to allow young people to have access to social media while they are working at my business in order to improve their morale, I simply could not disagree any more strongly.
The problem, in part, is that the younger generation has grown up with social media and text messaging as their primary forms of communicating with their friends. Many have difficulty with even basic email communication as they lack the spelling and vocabulary skills required in business.
I don't feel like they need better morale at work - they need a stronger work ethic! Perhaps in my generation socializing with my friends didn't take place via electronic media that could reach me anywhere at any time. Nevertheless, my employers made it clear that while at work I was expected to work - not socialize! We always had strict policies regarding the personal use of business email or telephones. We were allowed to make personal calls using our cell phones on breaks or we could use phones provided in employee lounge areas, but not at our desks while working. No one seemed to think that type of restriction was improper or negatively impacted "morale".
If being a "cool" employer means that I will allow my employees to do whatever they want whenever they want to do it, then I am absolutely NOT cool! Policies need to be in place that allow the employer to make sure that employees are doing the work they are being paid for.
I also have firewall security to protect my IT infrastructure and my company's proprietary information. My employees are trained to not share proprietary information unless it is on a need-to-know-basis to get their jobs done. Allowing the use of social networking in the workplace simply makes it too easy to allow a stupid remark to be posted online that may not have been shared otherwise.
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