We are in the Digital Age, and that means everyone is on social media – including your employees. It leaves you with a whole new world to manage, as employee social media that is not monitored could end up causing your company some serious issues in the future. While it is important to find a middle ground, and to also ensure that you do not stalk your workers, there are a few things that you should remember to do and avoid when it comes to employee social media.
Things to Do
#1 Always Have a Plan
You need to have a plan for employee use of social media in the workplace. You might not think this is a big issue, but an employer can be held responsible for the actions of those who work for them online, and employees could leak information about a company online for everyone to see. It doesn’t matter if it occurs at home or in the office, so you need to make sure you have a firm plan in place.
#2 Implement a Clear Policy
This brings you to developing and implementing a clear policy for social media and what is allowed, as well as what is prohibited. It should contain details of appropriate and inappropriate behavior, in addition to things that are strictly forbidden. Of course, you should ensure legal professional looks through it first to make sure that nothing has been missed and that the policy makes sense.
#3 Train Your Employees
A formal training program will teach your employees how to behave on social media where the workplace is concerned and also show them the consequences for violating the policy. It also shows that you, as a company, are committed to ensuring that your public image remains sound.
#4 Keep Detailed Records
The records that should be kept are ones that refer to your employees have read and understood the social media policy that you have implemented. This means that you know, and have proof of, each employee agreeing to and understanding the policy.
#5 Monitor Responsibly
In many jurisdictions, you have the right to monitor your employee’s social media at all times. However, you should make sure that you monitor them responsibly as too much of it can cause tension in the workplace, a lack of morale, and a decline in your worker’s trust in you.
Things Not to Do
#1 Don’t be Too Hasty
If an employee violates your social media policy, you must not rush to fire or punish them. Not just because of the potential legal implications, but also because you can lower morale. Try talking through the situation with them and giving them a warning before you terminate their contract.
#2 Make Sure Your Policy Does Not Overreach
By this, we mean that you should not exercise too much control over what your employee’s do on social media. While there are things that should certainly be banned or restricted, social media is also a personal place and your policies should not reach that far in.
#3 Make Sure the Policy Goes Company Wide
Everyone has to adhere to the policy. Whether it’s the interns or the CEO, the social media policy needs to stretch across the entire company. This leaves everyone being treated as equals, but also ensures that you are protected as a company.
#4 Don’t Forget a Contact Person
Some employees are going to have questions about the policy, and you will need to appoint someone as the person they contact when they have a query or concern. This will not only make you more transparent to your employees but will also ensure that their questions are answered satisfactorily.
#5 Don’t be Inconsistent
When it comes to disciplinary actions, you should always be consistent and treat everyone equally. It gives you legal protection, but also means that unrest among employees is likely to be massively decreased because they will know that they have not been singled out. It keeps morale steady and everyone feeling like equals.
Social media is not an easy thing to manage, especially in the workplace. It is likely that you will always have the odd employee who does something wrong and perhaps slanders the company they work for online. However, having a plan and policy in place that promises disciplinary action is a sure way to reduce this risk. Just remember that you should ensure your monitoring is balanced and that you don’t overreach when it comes to restricting your workers.