We are working with the ‘Google’ generation! Given the recent growth in the use of social media – Facebook, Linked In, MySpace, Bebo, Twitter and the like, protecting the reputation of an organisation in sectors such as Social Housing has never been more prevalent. That said, it has its benefits and provided sensible HR and employment practices are introduced to manage social media in the workplace, it is not something to be fearful of. Quite the opposite – a large public sector organisation recently received its highest level of applicants to a job vacancy advertised via the non traditional means of Facebook. That said, whilst useful in some aspects of a business, social media can be damaging if misused and abused by employees. So what if an employee ‘pokes’ the wrong person or ‘tweets’ a defamatory statement…..follow our top five practical tips to managing social media in the workplace:
- Introduce a policy on the use of social media by employees.
- Communicate a clear message on what employees may or may not be able to exchange via social media. If you operate a zero tolerance stance, make that clear.
- Co-ordinate your organisation’s use of social media – a greater degree of central control can potentially limit the wider risk to the organisation’s reputation.
- Make clear reference in your organisation’s disciplinary procedure, to the fact that misuse of social media (either within or outside of work) that may affect the reputation of the business or disclosure of confidential information, could result in disciplinary action against an employee.
- Don’t be fearful of it. It can be a powerful tool for recruitment, positive PR and internal communication but use sensibly and wisely!