If your organisation has more than one employee, you need a social media policy!
Many organisations use social media as a marketing tool; but if even if your company doesn’t use social media, your employees do – often in the workplace. As BlandsLaw general manager Vivienne Storey says, it’s smarter to embrace the technology – and set the terms for its use with a tailored policy – than to ban it. “This will enable your staff to freely participate in social media but also remain clear and informed about what is acceptable on these platforms,” Storey says. “Social media is the tool. If employees are wasting time on social media, they’d be wasting time anyway.”
Reasons why you need a social media policy
Need more convincing? Here are some more reasons why social media policies are important:
- To avoid potential loss of and/or disclosure of confidential information
- To avoid discrimination and defamation scenarios
- To protect privacy – of your organisation, your employees, your clients
- To protect brand, reputation and Intellectual Property
- To clarify who has ‘ownership’ of social media accounts
- To avoid database ‘theft’
- To avoid contact / solicitation of customers by former employees via social media.
Make it easy to put into practice
Due to the all-pervasive nature of social media, a social media policy should cross-reference other workplace policies such as discrimination, use of mobile devices, privacy and confidentiality.
Like any workplace policy, you need to ensure that a social media policy is legally compliant; it must also be enforceable – meaning easy to access, understand and put into practice. Investing time and resources to ensure the policy is implemented effectively is the best course of action. “Implementation is crucial, it’s more important than the policy in some ways,” Storey says. “Employees need to have a thorough understanding of the contents of the policy and the ramifications for breaches if it is to be successful.”
If you need help with your workplace policies, contact us.