While there are some downsides to allowing the use of social media in the workplace, many of today’s more progressive companies would agree that these are outweighed by the benefits. After all, having an entire workforce batting for your team, building your brand and increasing your reputation as an employer of choice can provide a significant competitive edge.
Mitigating the risks of allowing open access to social media sites is, however, important if employers are not to be faced with decreased productivity, sharing of confidential information, compromise of intellectual property rights or damage to the organization’s reputation. Companies can have their cake and eat it too if they ensure that they have a social media policy in place that every worker has agreed to. Here are just some of the things to think about including in yours:
• Whether any personal use of social media sites is acceptable, and if so, how much
• Which sites staff may access
• What constitutes appropriate and inappropriate content
• What the consequences are of posting illegal or inappropriate content
• What measures employees are expected to take to protect the company’s IT system from security risks
• What employees are expected to do to preserve the company’s reputation, promote its image and maintain good business relations
• How the use of social media is monitored and enforced.