For the first few years of my first job in the business world, my department manager would make monthly circuits of the office carrying pages and pages of telephone records. He would stop at each of his employees’ offices and cubes and review the calls made from their phones. Personal calls earned a rebuke.
Eventually, he gave up on this routine as the company grew to accept calls non-work-related numbers as an integral part of employees’ lives. Making doctors’ appointments, talking to kids’ teachers, checking in at home — these all eventually became non-issues at most organizations.
For the networked generation, checking in on Facebook is no different, according to a Deloitte study that assessed teen attitudes about ethics. Teens “are as likely to post something on a social networking site as they are to pick up a phone,” according to Maureen Mohlenkamp, Deloitte’s deputy ethics officer. According to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article reporting on the study, “Social networking has become so critical to the younger generation of workers, Ms. Mohlenkamp believes that having access to the sites might someday be viewed as an employee perk, along the lines of health benefits or a company cell phone.”
The key takeaway from the study, according to Mohlenkamp: “For companies to be viewed as an employer of choice, they will need to provide access to these sites. Then, it will be important for them to provide the appropriate training and education for new hires to prevent risks to the employee and the organization.”
The training and education will be necessary because 40 percent of teens — along with a third of adults (based on another Deloitte study) — fail to consider that bosses, recruiters, parents and college admission staff could look at, and be influenced by, what they post to their pages.
Opinion Research Corp. conducted the study the week of September 21 among 1,000 teens between the ages of 12 and 17.
Hat tip to Shashi Bellamkonda for the link.