If you are an employer, are you aware of how your staff are using Social Media Forums? Do you have a Social Media policy in place to regulate such usage, when it impacts on your company?
Social Media is increasingly becoming an integral part of many people’s lives. The widespread availability of forums such as Facebook and Twitter bring opportunities for individuals to engage with others in new and exciting ways. Companies are also seeing the benefit of promoting their services on various Social Media Forums but, sometimes, this can come with risks.
There have been cases of employees posting damaging or libellous comments about the company, on their own personal Social Media Forums. There have also been cases of employees using their own, personal social media accounts to post commercially sensitive information about the company they work for. These, in conjunction with the issue of cyber bullying of staff members by a colleague over social media and of your company’s network security, when social media is being used within the workplace, could all be addressed and controlled, if the appropriate policies are put in place.
An employer cannot simply just monitor employee usage of social media. Significant intrusion into your employee’s private lives will not normally be justified, unless there is a real risk of serious damage to your company. You could therefore run the risk of being in breach of legislation if you chose to do this.
To address the issues, it is therefore prudent for any employer to have a written Social Media Policy put in place, covering key points such as: –
- clearly determining who in the company will be responsible for representing you online. You can then set appropriate rules for what information they may disclose and the range of opinions they may express. This controls the information that is being made public;
- rules for staff use of social media – i.e. what is and what is not acceptable for the use of social media sites at work etc.
- to make it clear that employees may face disciplinary action if they post any comments that might damage the company’s reputation or be construed as bullying a colleague
- requiring employees to use a disclaimer on any blogs or comments on social media sites, stating that the views posted are those of the employee and not of the company for which they work
It is not all negative however. When used correctly within the workplace, social networking can be very successful in encouraging employee engagement with the company. For use outside of the company, social media can be an invaluable way of helping to promote your company and the services you provide. You therefore do not need to ban all social media usage. You just need to have the appropriate policies put in place as a safeguard.
To find out more about social media policies and how we can help, feel free to call us on 02892528170 or use the contact us page on our website https://skeltoncallender.com/