Study: Ban Social Media, Get Lower Quality Workers

By now, most companies have some sort of workable — and hopefully realistic — social media policy for their office. But a new study from Cisco indicates that if you’re considering banning employee access at work, you may be reducing the quality of your workforce. Ragan relays:

To demonstrate the role of the network in young people’s lives, Cisco commissioned an international workforce study of nearly 3,000 college students and recently employed college graduates, many working in their first full-time jobs.

Here are the findings I find most interesting:

  • More than two out of five would accept a lower-paying job that offered more choices in the device they use at work, social media access, and mobility compared with a higher-paying job with less flexibility.  
  • One in three college students and young professionals consider the Internet to be as important as air, water, food and shelter.
  • For several years, whenever I speak with college students, I tell them that if a prospective employer bans social media, resist working there. I tell them to ask about social networking at the office. If it is banned or restricted, stand up, thank the interviewer and leave because they will not be happy there.

Do you trust your employees?

Guess what? When companies ban social networking, the best employees leave. They sense they are not trusted. Those who reluctantly stay go into the restroom or outside the office with their iPhone or Android to get onto Facebook and Twitter.

Interns: They Will Light Up Your Life

I’m not sure what to make of this, but it’s related to business and internships and this video is hot right now — so it’s going on our blog. Meet Cisco’s rapping intern:

If you’d like an intern of your own — rapping or otherwise — check out our fine affiliate program, Indiana INTERNnet. The INTERNnet team, led by executive director Pam Norman, is doing an amazing job connecting Indiana businesses with eager interns. You can also follow the program’s blog at

How NOT to Use Twitter in the Professional World

I must confess: I’m a Twitterbug. When I first heard of Twitter, however, I was rather skeptical and thought, "Why, oh why, would I want to know if some guy in Hoboken likes his hoagie from Georgio’s, or how much he misses ‘Perfect Strangers?’ How does that impact me?"

Yet lo and behold, I eventually discovered the myriad professional uses for Twitter, and we’ve even applied it to our Chamber communications protocol with measured success, enabling us to spread our message to more businesses, policy wonks, and legislators than ever before. However, employers — and employees — should beware of the many ways such social media can backfire if one becomes a little too candid; it’s a valuable lesson for communications staff, CEOs, and potential hires alike. Case in point:

I saw this exchange on Twitter, which is a painful lesson in how NOT to use Twitter in this tough economy.

A lucky job applicant tweeted the following:

"Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work."

This tweet caught the attention of Tim Levad, a channel partner advocate for Cisco. To which he responded:

"Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web."

Ouch! The person who dissed the Cisco offer quickly took their Twitter account private. But Twitter search retained the record.

Remember a couple months ago when the PR guy’s tweet about Memphis came back to bite him? This is another example of the need to be careful with what you post on Twitter, and social media in general.