Running Your Business

Create a Social Media Policy Like an HR Pro

Posted by June 28, 2018

Social media is hip, but having an accurate social media policy for your business is even cooler. By having a social media policy, you can better control the actions your employees take on social media involving your business. Before implementing your policy, you must think about what should be in your plan along with how to make it successful. Luckily, HR professionals have you covered.

Stay Legal

This may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has the right to decline anything in violation of their rules. Avoid writing legal mistakes by reading, observing and even using social media policy templates provided on socialmediagovernance.com. HR pros also advice that your company’s legal counsel, or an outside qualified source, reviews your document draft before distributing it anywhere.

What You Should Include

Ultimately, this is your business, hence your ideals. That being said, HR experts have suggested including a few specific factors in your social media policy. To avoid mishaps, have your employees create separate accounts for work and personal use. This will stop your workers from posting their selfies on your company’s Facebook page or other unwanted mistakes.

To further prevent grievances on social media, you should encourage internal communications within your policy. Letting your workers know where to go to discuss a concern instead of having them rant online is beneficial for both parties. You should include that there is no tolerance for bullying, harassment or discrimination along with personal complaints and attacks. A tweet taunting another worker or cursing out the business cannot be ignored.

In further regard to your business, it is crucial that you include protection for your business’s confidential information and trade secrets. You also have the right to observe posts or messages sent on workplace equipment and your workers should be aware of such. Your policy should include the basics while also encompassing what your business stands for and against.

What You Shouldn’t Include

Although you may not agree with your employees’ political stances or personal life, you cannot include this within your policy because the NLRB protects many of your employees’ outside, personal activities. Specifically, your workers are allowed to discuss wages and working conditions on social media based on this protection.

You also shouldn’t be vague with your terms or descriptions. If you are not specific, it leaves room for the rules to be challenged, debated or declined based on the NLRB’s employee rights violations. You may also be frustrated with workers posting, blogging and tweeting during work hours; however, you shouldn’t ban social media completely from your work environment due to the benefit an online presence can have for your company. Instead, include that social media shouldn’t interfere with work rather than completely reject it. Primarily, as mentioned before, going against any laws, local or national, is a big no-no.

Implementing Your Policy

Now that you’ve considered what your policy should consist of, it’s time to think about spreading the word. To get your workers familiar with the policy, you should provide training and continue to remind your employees of these rules. HR pros also urge that you stay consistent with not only sharing your policy but with discipline. If you are inconsistent with what you let slide and take action on, your policy will not be taken seriously. If you end up having to discipline a worker based on your policy, make sure your process is sound, even if it comes down to having to contact a practitioner experienced with social media employment law.

Creating and implementing a social media policy is needed in a time of technological obsession. Listen to what HR professionals suggest and abide by the NLRB and your policy can be #flawless.

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