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We Need A Social Strategy, Just Don’t Expect To Use It Here

A majority of U.S. workplaces block access to social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, new survey results commissioned by consulting firm Robert Half Technology indicate. Fifty-four percent block social networks "completely," while another 19 percent only permit it "for business purposes."

Only 10 percent of companies surveyed permit social-network use on the job for any kind of personal use; 16 percent allow "limited" personal use.

Back in the 90’s, employers similarly blocked employee access to the internet and to personal email. Many of them were caught behind the tech curve and had to play catch-up for a very long time.

Businesses, especially in tough times, can be incredibly shortsighted. Recessions only exacerbate the problem.

The best way to leverage technology to grow your business is to have employees who know how to use and exploit technology. If they can get their work done, who cares if they post something personal on Twitter. Their Twitter question today might also elicit the solution to that troublesome project that has plagued your department for weeks, the answer to why your website keeps crashing, or it might give you a lead on that sponsorship opportunity you’ve been looking for to help launch your new product line.

Recessions fade, but the memories of your employees will not. Trusting your employees and giving them the freedom to learn will pay off in the long run. Walling them off from the world will only wall off your business from the world.