Since the rise of social media there have been debates as to whether the use of these websites should be available in the workplace. Do staff have the right to access them? Can the usage of social media actually benefit business?
LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are being used more and more in aiding businesses with marketing and communications. An unfortunate consolation of its ongoing presence is that staff may spend working time on social media sites instead of their assigned job.
“The best way to deal with this is through prevention by implementing a Social Media Policy,” says founder and Managing Director of P3 People Management, Charlotte Gallagher. “We know that some people find Facebook very addictive, and this can lead to staff spending time on the site when they should be working. If staff are spending time during working hours, this is a conduct issue and should be dealt with informally or formally depending on the circumstances.”
A concise Social Media Policy is a great alternative to the blocking of access to these websites during working hours. “When drawing up a Social Media Policy, ensure you always cover the standards expected, a note on privacy, a note on copyright law, confidential information, rules on mentioning the company on social media sites, and the consequences of failure to comply with the policy. This should help cover all the major bases.
“There should be a section in your IT policy or handbook as a minimum on how the company manages social media use outside of work if it affects the company,” says Charlotte. “Staff also may spread gossip and post derogatory comments about the company or fellow employees on social media sites, as well as giving their personal opinion about the company’s products and services, which may damage the brand. This may again be a discipline issue, and should be covered in the policy.”
Employees should be encouraged to included prominent disclaimers stating who they work for but that they’re not speaking officially. Examples of this can usually be found on Twitter.
Contact Charlotte at www.p3pm.co.uk