Social media was clearly among the hottest business topics of 2011, and the results of a survey released on Jan. 12, 2012, by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shows that human resource professionals have an important role in helping employers deal with this red-hot issue.
Approximately 40 percent of randomly selected SHRM members responded that their organizations have implemented formal social media policies. Among these organizations, 43 percent of the respondents reported that the corporate HR function is responsible for creating and enforcing the policies.
According to survey respondents, the most common elements used in their organization’s social media policies included:
A code of conduct for employees’ use of social networking for professional purposes (68 percent).
A code of conduct for employees’ personal use of social networking (66 percent).
A notification of the employer’s right to monitor social media usage (56 percent).
Guidelines for social media communications (55 percent).
The SHRM survey is titled An Examination of How Social Media Is Embedded in Business Strategy and Operations. It is the fourth and final phase in a series of survey results focusing on social media in the workplace. The survey found that even though many employers depend on HR to develop and enforce social media policies, the marketing and information technology (IT) functions were more likely to lead an organization’s social media activities.
More than a third (35 percent) of survey respondents reported that their marketing departments were responsible for heading their organizations’ social media efforts, and 17 percent said that social media efforts were the responsibility of their IT departments. Survey respondents ranked HR and senior management (14 percent) among the groups most likely to lead their organization’s social media efforts. Overall, 12 percent of respondents reported that their employers have at least one full-time employee, such as a social media director, who is responsible for the organization’s social media activities.
The survey revealed that nearly 40 percent of the respondents reported that their organizations monitor employees’ social media activities on company-owned computers or handheld devices. Among companies that have a formal social media policy, 33 percent said that their organizations in the past 12 months have disciplined employees who violated the policy.
Bill Leonard is a senior writer for SHRM.
View the other social media survey articles here:
SHRM Survey: HR Has Key Role in Corporate Social Media Efforts, SHRM Online Technology Discipline, Nov. 11, 2011
SHRM Survey Findings: Few Employers Use Social Networks to Screen Candidates, SHRM Online Staffing Management Discipline, Aug. 25, 2011
SHRM Survey Findings: Social Networking Websites Popular as Employer Recruiting Tool, SHRM Online Staffing Management Discipline, April 18, 2011