The use of social media on company time and about company events is of interest to human resources administration professionals. It can certainly present problems, though recent research reveals it may also have value. According to a study completed by the Ethics Resource Center, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers and NAVEX Global, active users of social media are more likely to notice and report compliance issues in the workplace than their peers.

Additionally, it is to the benefit of companies to leverage social media use toward beneficial aims. The study showed it is extremely unlikely that employees will stop using social media during the workday entirely. If instead a company sets clear guidelines for its use, preferably with input from employees who use online networking sites frequently, it can be a positive force. Organizations may use it to display their ethics and culture to all employees, whether permanent or temporary workers. Additionally, it can be an excellent way to get information to a workforce that is increasingly connected by the Internet.

There are pitfalls to social media use in the workplace, as there are with many activities. However, with consideration and collaboration, it is likely that companies can create a social media policy everyone can accept.

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