Global social media survey finds discrepencies between employers' and staff opinions on its use

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Employees believe social media is impacting workplace productivity, but their employers have been slow to take measures against this, finds Kelly Services.

It's latest Global Workforce Index, found 44% of UK employees feel that social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, is impacting negatively on workplace productivity. However, only 6% of the British workforce has been told to stop using social media at work.

Employers are not making the most use of social media, either as a recruitment tool or as a means of boosting their employer brand.

But the need to harness the potential of social media is clear - one third of employees said they were more likely to use social media than traditional methods to search for jobs, and as many as 30% consider it important that their employer has a social media presence.

The findings, the second in the series from the Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) also revealed 73% of staff feel it is not appropriate to share opinions about work on social media, suggesting people have an automatic tendency to assume these opinions would be negative rather than positive mentions promoting the employer brand.

And more than half of UK employees worry that mixing personal and professional connections through social media could cause problems at work

Andrew Cook, general manager UK and Ireland at Kelly Services, said: "We need to dispel the myth that social media is for leisure time only. If used well, it can be an essential communication tool for your existing workforce to engage with customers and be vital in finding and attracting new talent to your business.

"Equally, boosting employer brands by raising your corporate profile through social media is increasingly important. Most people fear discussions about their current employer could be negative, when in fact your workforce can be your best social brand ambassadors.

"Many companies view social media as inherently risky due to its immediacy and tone, but those employers that are embracing it as part of their recruitment strategy are reaping the rewards."

These are the second findings from the latest, KGWI, an annual survey conducted by Kelly Services. Almost 170,000 people in 30 countries participated in the survey, including more than 3,500 in the UK. The last results were released in April and found that employers across the UK are disengaged, with less than half being currently happy in their job and over a third frequently thinking about quitting.

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