Like it or not, social media is now part of our daily lives. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn make it possible for employees to externalize their professional lives and broadcast it across the Internet.
Sometimes this type of free speech online runs up against certain limitations in the workplace. For example, many companies have implemented social media policies over the past few years to clearly articulate what can and cannot be said about a company on an employee’s personal Facebook or Twitter account.
But what do you do if an employee violates the company social media policy? How do you monitor their behavior and deal with their transgression accordingly?
Remind Them of the Policy.
If what you’re dealing with is a first time, minor infraction, the best strategy is simply to have the employee revisit your company’s social media policy. Most companies will likely list the following things as off-limits for discussion on a personal social media account: wages, working conditions and interactions with co-workers or management. There will likely also be a section concerning language and professionalism. While you certainly can’t police behavior while your employees aren’t on the job, you can expect them to keep their public social media accounts clean. When an employee breaks your social media policy for the first time, give them an opportunity to go over the policy again in detail. Have a conversation with them and make sure that they are 100% clear about where they went wrong.
Suggest a Private Forum.
Discussing your professional life online is never a wise idea. Tweets and Facebook posts both show up in a quick Google search and it’s next to impossible to conceal this information. However, if any employee feels that their freedom of speech is being impinged upon by your company’s social media policy—and this is a common concern—you may want to suggest that they instead voice their opinions and thoughts in a less public forum. It’s possible to make your Twitter account private, as well as to write a private blog. While not an ideal scenario if you have a repeat offender, this may be a good suggestion for an employee who never wanted to intentionally violate the company policy and just made a one-time error in judgment.
If you have a repeat offender on your hands— or an employee who has made a particular egregious social media error—it’s probably best to take action and let them go as quickly as possible. You don’t want to develop a reputation as an organization that tolerates bad social media etiquette. And you really don’t want your current staff to think that it’s okay for them to use social media as a forum to share private details about your company.
For more information about your company’s social media policy, Contact PrideStaff Fresno. We are happy to discuss any questions you may have about social media usage.