Employee Social Media Policy to Stay Above the Fray
Online, more and more, you see comments and posts that you may not agree with.
Unfortunately, some of these remarks are made by your employees. You can’t control what your employees say on Facebook or any other social site, but you can help them post wisely. Because what they post can have an impact on your business.
As a company owner, what are the best ways to protect your company’s reputation from the personal beliefs of your employees?
I reached out to Ian Scho-tan-us of Big Picture Consulting. Anyone who has been on any of the myriads of contractor support groups on Facebook knows Ian as ‘The HR Guy’. He has 12+ years of experience in the industry and is considered an expert in the fields of HR, Safety, and Payroll Compliance. What I also like about Ian is he understands what the contractor is going through; he knows the difficulty in retaining good, quality employees, so his insights and suggestions are reflective of those challenges. Ian emphasized that you do not want to limit your employees’ personal freedoms, but you NEED them to realize how their actions can affect your business. He stressed that company culture should be a factor in all aspects of your business, and your company culture should guide your employees in their actions.
Company culture can be defined as the shared values, goals, attitudes, and practices that characterize a business. It is the way people feel about what they do, the principles they believe in, where they see the company going, and what they are doing to get it there.
Company culture is the key for businesses to operate with purpose. They drive the shared culture of you and your employees. However, each employee also has their own values. These may be based on their upbringing, education, and their social environment. Differences between corporate and personal values are not new, but the popularity of social media can make them more obvious.
Outlining basic guidelines that create a level of respect for the company, your customers, and other employees is beneficial. These include:
- Do not speak negatively about the business, its staff, or customers.
- Company and customer confidentiality is essential.
- Do not post harassing, hateful, or illegal content.
It is essential to help employees understand the possible risks associated with the use of social media. The questions below are beneficial to employees if they are questioning what to share on social media.
- Does this relate to my work?
- Does this conflict with my company’s values and culture?
- Is it obvious that I am speaking for myself and not on behalf of my company?
- Would I be comfortable sharing this with my boss or colleagues in person?
- Could this have negative effects for myself or my company?
It should also be clear that employees are not evaluated for personal activities or opinions if they do not break the law, are not offensive to others or the company, and do not negatively refer to the company or working conditions.
Yes, your employees are active on Social Media. No, you cannot forbid them from discussing work. However, if you leverage the opportunity correctly, you may find that giving them reason to post the POSITIVE aspects of your company culture will help promote your business, assist in recruiting efforts, increase both employee and customer loyalty, and overall provide real-time validation to your Company Culture efforts!
Lynn Wise is the Founder and CEO of Contractor in Charge.
Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area.
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