Should I Let My Employees Use LinkedIn at Work? Pros and Cons of Both
I am a huge fan of Linkedin. It's the most fantastic platform for anyone to use at work.
With that being said, there are many pros and cons to having employees use LinkedIn at work...
And that's the reason you're reading this blog.
I am going to explain why I agree and disagree with this statement.
Before we get into the pros and cons, I feel the need to share my story and how I used the platform.
At one point not so long ago, I was an employee for a small company. I started as a computer technician and worked my way up to become a leader in sales.
I was an avid user of LinkedIn, and it was awesome.
While I was an employee, I would spend maybe a few minutes a week on the platform. My goal was to keep a finger on the "pulse" of the IT industry.
I would see what competitors were doing, and because I was a happy employee, I never thought about leaving my company or reaching out to recruiters.
After I got into sales, I began to use LinkedIn for creating content and making sales. I would do a lot of prospecting on there and figure out who could and would be a good potential sale.
I would find prospects and connect with mutual connections to introduce us. That was tremendously successful.
As time went on, the company began to mess with my compensation. I became a disgruntled employee.
From there, I began to use LinkedIn to find recruiters and potential employers to hire me. I was highly successful with it and got some amazing offers.
Instead of leaving my company to work for someone else, I decided to go and start my own business.
This was my evolution through LinkedIn...
It was at first a recreational website, then a selling tool, and then an escape to leave my company.
Since then, it has become one of my lead prospecting tools to this day, helping me land some of my largest clients to date.
The Pros And Cons Of Having Employees Using LinkedIn At Work.
Why should employees be allowed to use LinkedIn at work?
First: employees are mainly going to be updating their profiles and spending time engaging with content. This will get more eyes on employees and have people see your company and what they are doing.
Second: Employees are engaged with company culture and they will more than likely share the company content.
This will help to get it out to their network. Once again, it's more eyes on your products or services that are going to help.
Third: It allows them to see whats going on in the "outside" world.
Employees don't have access to see what competitors are doing, and they aren't attending networking groups to hear what people are working on.
This is an employee's way of staying on the pulse.
They can check in to see what is going on in the business world and learn from it. Linkedin is full of information and news in so many industries. The learning can be endless.
Valuable employees love knowledge, and when they are highly engaged, they can learn and grow as a person in my opinion.
It's a huge benefit.
Fourth: They can leverage it for sales or work to further the company.
Linkedin can be a powerhouse for salespeople or HR professionals looking to hire new employees in an organization.
Fifth: There are groups on Linkedin full of other professionals in similar industries that you can ask for help from or bounce ideas off of.
Why you shouldn't let employees use LinkedIn at work.
First: It's a huge distraction. I have seen employees spend an endless amount of time on the platform claiming it's for "work," and they get nothing done.
You pay an employee to work, not to go on social media.
There is endless content on there and, therefore, an endless amount of time to be wasted.
Second: They can look for a new job on company time.
If you, as a business owner, just yelled at a new employee and they are disgruntled...
Linkedin is a great place to spend some time and look for new jobs. This could lead to an employee leaving when it's something that could be so minor.
If they can't use it at work, chances are they will forget to look later in the day when they get home.
Third: Employees aren't using the platform correctly.
I see salespeople and HR people spend hours on LinkedIn a day, and their efforts are highly ineffective.
If that's the case, then time is being wasted when an employee thinks they are doing the right thing.
Improper training or use of the platform can be costly.
Fourth: Employees can post things they may not realize could be detrimental or exposing to the company.
If you have a "secret sauce," and the employee shares the company secrets on accident, it could give competitors an edge or an inside-look at what you're working on.
These are the main reasons I love LinkedIn... but it can be bad for employees.
My recommendation is to make sure employees are doing the right thing.
Limit their time on the platform and make sure they have training on what they should be doing to help themselves and the company.
Happy employees will never leave, and the happiest of employees will become evangelists for the company.
Take the above pros and cons with a grain of salt.
Every company is going to have a different situation. Take the time to figure out what is going to work for you, your company, and your employees.
If you need help learning the platform, please reach out!