Are your employees putting you at risk through Social Media?
Published: May 17 2013
In order to adopt a proactive and positive approach, there is a need to reduce your risk and it is essential that you adopt a social media policy. In doing so, you will send a clear signal about company expectations for employee use of social media.
The ‘instant’ nature of social media means that people don’t always think before they post, blog or tweet which can make you vicariously liable for your employees’ actions if what they have said is defamatory, discriminatory, or commercially sensitive.
Creating a Social Media Policy
Your policy will be a reminder for employees that social media activity in the workplace is not necessarily private and that they can be disciplined for conduct that breaches employee policies.
ACAS advises that any policy should include what is and what is not acceptable behaviour for the use of the internet, emails, smart phones, blogs and tweets. You should also cross-reference a social media policy to other procedures, and update them, for example bullying policies should include a reference to ‘cyber bullying’.
It is advisable to take a ‘common sense’ approach to regulate behaviour and to treat electronic behaviour as you would treat non-electronic behaviour. However, policies do not necessarily have to be drawn up from scratch. For example, you may already have guidelines for the use of emails and the internet that can be expanded.
Be clear throughout your policy about drawing a distinction between business and private use of social media. If you allow limited private use to be clear about what this actually means.
Advice on creating Social Media policies
Kent HR can work with you to prepare a bespoke social media policy to meet your organisation’s culture and approach. For more information please complete the enquiry form below or contact us to discuss how we can help.
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