The Importance of a Workplace Social Media Policy

Workplace social media policies at organisations large and small were, as recently as 2012, quite rare. Like telephone, personal computer, and email policies of earlier generations, they were put in place to guide everyone in the organisation through the use of a new technology.

The new reality
Many, if not most, employees consider their private and work lives separate, but social media has effectively erased that distinction. No matter how ‘walled-off‘ an individual’s social accounts may seem to be, ultimately someone, somewhere, will be able to tie that person to your organization. Therefore, they need to understand that this means anything they post on social media or elsewhere online, may reflect on them and the company.

How can you protect your company’s reputation online?

A good workplace social media policy spells out what is and is not appropriate for employees to post about their company on social networks. Generally, the policy will state that employees shouldn’t write anything they wouldn’t want splashed across the public media. The policy may also include the consequences of posting unflattering information about the organisation.

How to engage online?

Even though engaging online may seem commonplace, a section that reminds employees of the ‘right’ way to engage with others online is necessary. If they must disagree with someone, they should ‘agree to disagree’ with others on social media, because disagreements can quickly blow up and go viral and often negatively impact all those involved. If you’re unsure how to approach the training aspect of engaging online, it is a great opportunity to contact a third party HR firm.

Educating your staff

Being able to show your employees how positive and negative social media use can affect the organisation is a great way to remind them that each action has a reaction on the internet. Utilising real-life examples to highlight what happens when people don’t follow the rules and/or don’t use common sense, can be a powerful educational means.  

Ensuring you have robust workplace social media policy will
provide a great deal of clarity for employees and employers alike. 

Want to learn more about how to implement a social media policy in the workplace? Contact us today for more information.