Survey: Strict Social Media Policies May Produce Unexpected Consequences

Raleigh, N.C. — June 5

The growing trend to enforce company-wide social media policies has sparked the birth of the Password Protection Act of 2012. The new legislation prevents companies from requiring employees to provide access to their personal social networking accounts.

While many companies may create a social media policy to protect their corporate reputation, a new Workplace Options and Public Policy Polling survey of American workers shows that companies who scrutinize their employees’ personal accounts and social media activity may be doing more harm than good.

In general, respondents agree that social media policies in the workplace are necessary; however, their opinions quickly change once these policies become overbearing.

The poll results, released by Workplace Options, a provider of work-life programs and employee benefits, show there is a fine line between companies having a social media policy and social media policies that are too intrusive.

Eighty-nine percent of respondents stated that employers have no right to demand personal social networking passwords, and 68 percent of respondents said that forcing employees to hand over passwords to their personal accounts would harm employer-employee relations.

The national survey was conducted by the North Carolina firm of Public Policy Polling May 17-19. The survey polled 522 working Americans and has a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percent.

Source: Workplace Options