May 19, 2020

Should Employees Access Social Media at Work?

Employee happiness
Social Media
Amy Morin
Bizclik Editor
3 min
Should Employees Access Social Media at Work?

The June edition of The Business Review Canada is now live!

By: Amy Morin 

There is a wide discrepancy between employers about whether or not employees should have access to social media while they’re at the office. While some employers ban it, others actually encourage it.

With that in mind, it’s important to educate yourself about the pros and cons of social media use at work before developing a social media policy.

Blocking Social Media Access

Some companies block access to all social media.

However, software to block social media sites can be expensive and often, it doesn’t work. Many employees will find their way around it anyway.

Also, most employees will still be able to access social media from their own mobile devices even if they can’t do so from their work computer.

Therefore, employers should think long and hard about whether or not it makes sense to allow employees to access social media sites.

Pros of Allowing Employees to Use Social Media

Some studies show that employees who access social media from work can actually be more productive. Employees who reward themselves by going on Facebook for a few minutes when a task is completed might be more motivated to finish the task.

Socializing at work isn’t new.

Employees who used to gather around the water cooler to chat can now interact with one another from their desk.

Social media allows employees to interact with friends and family outside of the office too, which may be able to boost morale and prevent them from making lengthier phone calls to their loved ones.

Allowing access to social media can even be a good way to promote your business. After all, an employee is likely to mention where he works or what products he sells which can be a great way to gain word of mouth advertising.

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Cons of Allowing Employees to Use Social Media

Despite some of the potential positives of social media, there are certainly some downsides. Many employers worry that social media will be too distracting and that it will encourage employees to waste time.

Another common concern raised by employers is that social media will encourage gossip, drama and sexual harassment in the workplace. 

When employees are discussing non-work related topics with one another and with people outside the company during work hours, it raises concerns about the employer’s responsibility to monitor the conversation.

Developing a Social Media Policy

It’s best to take a proactive approach to developing a social media policy. Rather than wait for a problem to arise, create a simple social media policy for your employees that clearly outlines your expectations.

Address issues related to your confidentiality policy and appropriate online behavior. Talk to employees about marketing via social media and your expectations for their discussions about their employment.

Check out other businesses’ social media policies. This can provide you with a guide about how to word your social media policy.

Educate your staff up front and encourage ongoing discussions about social media.

In the end, this can prevent problems and also help you stay up to date on how to address issues as they arise.

About the Author: Amy Morin writes about psychology, business and topics such as small business payroll.

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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