It floors me that in 2011, employers are still blocking facebook for their employees, or any website for that matter.
First and foremost, did you not interview and hire trustworthy employees? Look around your office. Did you hire these people because they had experience and accomplishments? Yes, you did (and if you didn’t, then you certainly need to review your hiring practices!). If you feel that you have to babysit any one of them, then release them from the job. Employees need to feel trust to be productive. They need to feel they are allowed to do their job and meet their deadlines without someone looking over their shoulder. This gives them a sense of achievement and secures their loyalty. Next time you walk by one of your employees desk and they make an excuse on why they are on a certain website, simply say, “I trust you”. That employee will want to be more productive. They will feel a loyalty to their position, the firm, and you. You will gain a happier, more efficient work environment.
Second, you need social media to grow a firm. You know this. There are hundreds of articles on creating a facebook page for your firm, growing support, networking virtually, and generating”buzz” about your projects. But did you know that you can search phrases on a facebook status. Simply do a regular search, click “show more results” and then click “posts by everyone”. You can find people that may have a need for your service, are discussing your industry, or even a future employee. People post their lives online. Teach your employees to use it to grow your business.
Third – everyone needs a break. No one can be 100% productive if they are doing the same thing for several hours in a row. Most employees don’t even leave for lunch anymore. Cut them some slack. Trust (it always comes back to trust) that your employees will use their time wisely and if they need a break to read some mindless entertainment headlines for a few minutes, they can do it. Let them read whatever, have a chuckle, and get back on the job. Big deal.
Bridget “The Job Shark”