The influence social media has on employees’ performance in the transport industry.
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The purpose of this study is to explore the influence social media has on employees’ performance in the transport industry. Advances in social media have proven to be beneficial to both employers and employees; however, it does pose substantial risks to employee safety and employee code of conduct. The research methodology was employed using the primary form of data collection, in which the researcher performed 15 semi-structured interviews to gather relevant data about the research subject in question. Furthermore, the researcher used an exploratory research design to accurately clarify all of the collected data as well as a non-probability purposive sampling approach to select participants for this analysis according to their characteristics. The key findings of the study revealed that social media is being used by employees in the transport industry and that reckless social media usage can cause accidents and unforeseen risks for companies. It was also found that social media creates mutual value through co-branding and collaboration during marketing activities; and that WhatsApp and Facebook are the preferred social media platforms for interactivity with clients and customers. Based on the findings, the study recommends that employees should engage with their companies to understand what the expectations around social media usage in terms of acceptable and unacceptable use are. Companies in the South African transport industry must also educate their employees on the risks of reckless social media usage and the detrimental impact it could have on not only employees’ health and safety; but also the reputation, operational, regulatory, financial and security risks to the employer. The major implication of this study is the development of a framework that highlights how having a social media usage policy as an intervention measure can promote better levels of employee safety and ultimately encourage more engagement and interactivity between employees and customers by posting about activities that create mutual value.