Is Your Social Media Policy Up to Date?

As an employer, you should have policies and procedures covering a range of key areas, including health and safety, fire evacuation and so on. But, have you got a social media policy? If you have employees who are active on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, you may think that as long as they’re not using these sites at their desks, then what they say and do on social media is no concern of yours. However, what if they are openly discussing your confidential business online, or if they’re saying derogatory things about their colleagues or your customers? Perhaps they’re dragging your business into disrepute? This is why you need a social media policy.

Social Media Policy

What Should A Social Media Policy Consist Of?

Your policy should clearly state what is acceptable behaviour with regards to social media use at work and what is unacceptable. You should also give clear guidelines for employees about what they can and cannot say about the organisation on these platforms.

  • Social Media use at work – you should clearly outline steps to be taken to avoid viruses, most larger organisations will have controls regulating downloading software, as well as security features, such as firewalls. It is also possible to block certain sites from the network, such as Facebook. If personal use of the internet is allowed at work, then the policy should state the acceptable boundaries which employees should stay within.
  • Privacy settings – your social media policy should remind employees to regularly check their privacy settings on their social media profiles, as they do change. They should also be reminded that if their privacy settings aren’t high enough, that clients, colleagues and their managers can view their updates if they search for them. Discretion is the better part of valour.
  • Confidentiality – make it clear to your employees that they should be mindful of data protection and confidentiality when using their personal social media accounts. Make it known that any action on the internet which might embarrass or discredit the company, may result in disciplinary action.
  • Disciplinary procedures – an employer should expect the same standards of professional conduct from their employees, and this is as relevant online as it would be during day to day business.

Good Practice

As well as having your social media policy available for all staff in the staff handbook, having a discussion about social media usage during your induction programme is a good way to make the policy crystal clear for new starters. It is also worth giving your staff a regular update on your social media policy during any relevant staff training. Every business will have its own standards of acceptable behaviour and it is best to be clear about these from the beginning. If you’re not sure where to start with your social media policy or staff handbook, contact a HR Consultancy Cheshire who have the expertise to help you.
It is always better to manage the expectations of your employees and a policy can help you to protect your business’ reputation as well as your employees’ privacy. In this ever changing world, it pays to have a social media policy in place.

For more information about HR Consultancy Services, HR Outsourcing or if you’re looking for a HR Advisor in Cheshire offering advice or support, contact Triple Three Solutions today on 0161 300 1214, or visit their website