10 Ways to Keep Employees Off Facebook

Post 585

10 Ways to Keep Employees Off Facebook

Facebook is one of the most valuable promotional and networking tools available to business owners, but it can also be the source of countless wasted hours for your employees. Tackling the subject of lost productivity due to Facebook can be tricky; here are some tips to prevent excessive use during work hours.

  1. Be Realistic – As the internet-dependent Generation Y enters the workforce, it’s important to be realistic about their use of social networking. It’s not generally recommended to block access to Facebook altogether unless it’s proven to be a real problem; if productivity isn’t suffering, it might be best to take a wait-and-see approach.
  2. Look Into Blocking Programs – If other attempts to curtail Facebook use have failed, there are programs that will block access to certain sites. Small businesses can even find free open-source programs to do the job, making it a cost-effective option.
  3. Institute a Usage Policy – Writing a realistic usage policy is one of the best ways to keep Facebook use under control. Making allowances for use during breaks can keep employees on their toes during the rest of their workday without causing dissent.
  4. Consider the Smartphone – The proliferation of smartphones means that there is no surefire way to keep your employees from accessing Facebook if they’re determined to do so. Hiding out in the bathroom with an iPhone to stay connected is a much bigger drain on productivity than a policy that allows for some use throughout the day.
  5. Encourage Use of Blocking Apps – There are web-based apps and browser plug-ins designed to block access to time-wasting sites during specified hours; encouraging your employees to use these apps of their own volition is a great way to boost productivity and avoid mutiny.
  6. Provide Productivity Incentives – Taking an indirect approach to discouraging Facebook use can also be effective, as instituting performance-based incentives make it easier for workers to keep a goal in sight. Without ever mentioning the social networking giant by name, you can discourage most employees from overuse.
  7. Use Monitoring Software – There are dozens of monitoring software options on the market, with varying price points and features. Choosing to monitor your employees web use can be a tricky decision; be sure to disclose that their use will be monitored and have signed documentation on file to avoid potential privacy issues.
  8. Treat the Issue Like Any Other Infraction – Wasting time is frowned upon in most workplaces, regardless of the reason. Treating productivity-hampering Facebook use as any other infraction ensures that your employees know exactly what is allowed and what you expect of them.
  9. One-on-One Discussions – If your current policy is rather lenient or non-existent and still effective, with the exception of a handful, it might be best to approach troublemakers on an individual basis.
  10. Frequently Remind Workers of Policy – Once a policy has been instituted, reminding employees at meetings and through memos regularly might be the best approach. Doing so will prevent confusion about acceptable use and keep all of your employees on the same page.

Always remember that your employees are people, too, and should be respected. If your demands are reasonable, they will be more apt to accept them. Make sure you know what the issues are and plan accordingly.

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