Turns out checking your personal Facebook feed and tweeting while on the clock could actually be beneficial to your work. A new study has revealed that allowing employees to participate in social media can actually help improve morale and retention.
According to the study by Baylor University, encouraging employees to merge their work lives with their social lives, by using an internal social networking site at work, can reduce turnover and improve engagement and organisational commitment among workers.
Published in the European Journal of Information Systems
, the research centred on a financial institution’s efforts to reduce IT employee turnover by starting a social and work-related, online networking site.
Under supervision, new hires developed and managed the site’s content. As most had relocated in order to start their new job, they used the social pages as an introduction to the community. After a year or so with the organisation, the more senior hires began using the system to mentor incoming new employees.
“It gave them access to people who could provide useful information and new perspectives and allowed them to meet more senior new hires and executives,” says the study’s co-author Hope Koch, Ph.D.
“These relationships set the new hires at ease during work meetings, helped them understand where to go for help and increased their commitment to the financial institution’s mission.”
Koch believes social networking sites may be particularly effective when workers are relocating to an unfamiliar area and need to build relationships, or could be integrated into larger organisations where it may be difficult to know where to go for help.
People thrive in places where they feel secure, nurtured and valued, so it only seems natural that systems that promote networking, team morale and a positive environment would be successful.
"Mixing their work life and their social life via an online social networking created positive emotions for the employees who use the system,” said Koch.
"These emotions led to more social networking and ultimately helped the employees build personal resources like social capital and organisational learning." Related content:
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