How to Develop an Effective Social Media Policy for Employees

Social media is a part of modern life in just about every country on Earth, and how it affects the office is a continuously changing issue for workers and organizations.

Despite several instances of workers breaking confidentiality policies, posting libelous content and raising liability concerns, less than one-quarter of workers interviewed in a major 2012 survey are employed by businesses with a social media policy, and only 10 percent had been given some type of social media remediation.

For businesses in the fields of marketing and technology, social media is not only helpful, it’s essential. However, if workers’ use of social media negatively reflects on a company in any industry, there is a need to set up policies for handling and tracking the activities of workers on social networks as a legal protection and to safeguard against the distribution of proprietary information.

Having a weak or poorly written policy also increases the odds of problems with harassment, discrimination and workers posting their personal views and frustrations with the company in a public forum.

On the other hand, strict limitations on social media can be a breach of worker rights. In April of 2014, Valero Energy was compelled to pull back on its social media policy after it was found that it interfered with labor laws regarding employees’ right to talk about the office conditions and conditions of their employment.

Social media policy essentials

Creating equilibrium between safeguarding the company and permitting workers to have their freedom of speech is crucial, but hard to pull off. There are a few essentials to keep in mind.

First, you need to consider how to protect your company’s standing. A social media plan let workers know what is appropriate to post about your business to their social profiles.

Second, a policy should reduce confusion regarding legal issues. A policy should help managers and employees alike to avoid inadvertent errors.

Finally, a policy can be geared toward boosting your company’s brand. Companies shouldn’t think of social media policies as a set of limitations. Having clear guidelines can also help workers realize ways they can help their employer achieve its goals. For example, policies should recommend workers comment on company blogs or social networks to enhance brand awareness and push traffic towards the company’s website.

Consider a policy’s intent

Before sitting down to draw up a social media policy, your company should decide what it wants the policy to achieve. Perhaps there are issues you are looking to smooth out. Or maybe your company is trying to organize a comprehensive internet strategy.

Whatever drives the need for a policy should be addressed first and foremost. Second, policy writers should consider was the policy is trying NOT to do. For instance, if you want your employees to express their views in a professional way online, make sure the policy allows them to do so.

At Labor Temps, we fully support all the policies of our client companies, from safety guidelines to social media rules. If your organization is currently looking to increase its staff, please contact our team of recruiters today!