Social Media in the Workplace
With so many Americans working from home, your employees may have more opportunities to spend time on social media. This trend, combined with a contentious political environment can be a recipe for disaster if you don’t have a clear and concise social media policy. If an employee at your company posted something derogatory about their workplace, or coworkers, do you know how you’d respond? What if their post was inflammatory, racially insensitive, or otherwise problematic? In some states, such as California, it’s illegal to punish an employee for lawful conduct while off duty, does that mean they can tweet whatever they want? These are complex questions, and if you don’t have a social media regulation, you could be putting your company at risk.
Companies should have a transparent social media policy to decrease the overuse of social media in the workplace. Misuse of social platforms poses a risk to the operation of your company, your employees and your reputation. On the other hand, social networks can help employees stay connected to family, research a topic, or de-stress. Whether you’re using social marketing for your company’s strategy or not, chances are your employees are active on various social media platforms. Here are a few reasons your company should create a social media policy.
What is a Social Media Policy?
A social media policy is defined as any guideline or policy that advises an organization on the use of social media in the workplace. This policy also outlines how a business and its employees should conduct themselves online. A social platform policy is a crucial tool for your company, whether or not your organization uses social media.
What is a Good Social Media Policy?
A good social media policy protects you and your company from risk. According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of Americans use at least one social media platform, but only 32% reported that their employer has a social platform policy on how they present themselves online. And 63% said their employer has no social media policy whatsoever. Creating a policy in regards to social media use in the workplace provides guidance to employees on how they should behave on their personal social media accounts.
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What are the Risks?
Hate speech, threats of violence, harassment or racial slurs on social media may violate your company’s code of ethics, or worse, the law. But what about complaints about a coworker? In any case, your employees should know what they could be held responsible for when posting online.
With 17% of American workers admitting they use social networks to find out more about the people they work with, it is crucial to have a social platform policy in place for employees so they can understand the consequences of their online interactions in relation to their employment.
According to Pew, workers whose companies have policies regulating social media use at work are less likely to use social media in certain ways:
- 30% of workers whose employer has an at-work social media policy say they use social media while on the job to take a break from work. Compared to 40% of workers whose employers do not have social media regulations.
- 20% of workers whose employers have at-work social media policies say they use social media to stay connected to family and friends while on the job. That number is 35% at companies without a policy.
- Only 16% of workers whose companies regulate social media at work say they use social media while working to get information that’s helpful to their job, vs 25% whose workplaces have no policy
Sixfifty Can Help!
Social media policies aren’t uncommon, but implementing one can seem like a daunting task. Sixfifty is here to help. One of our solutions is an affordable, customizable, and up-to-date Employee Handbook tool. SixFifty’s Employee Handbook can be customized to any of your business needs, with over 50 policies that account for the law in every state. We also built this solution for a post-COVID workforce that’s more remote, mobile, and diverse.
The employee handbook tool was created with your company in mind, so we teamed up with the top employment law firm, Wilson Sonsini, to teach a computer to write employment policies just like an attorney would. SixFifty’s Employee Handbook tool asks you the same questions as an attorney and then uses your answers to create the employment documents you need to run your business properly, including a clear and concise social media regulation.
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Whether you choose to discourage any social media use at the workplace, or just set expectations about online behavior, usage of social media in the workplace should be regulated by managers and employers to keep the operation of your company on track, and protect your reputation and brand. If you’re not using SixFifty’s always up-to-date solution, you should commit to an annual or biannual review of your policy to ensure that it stays useful, relevant, and up-to-date with our interactive state map.
Learn more and get a free demo of SixFifty’s employee handbook tool today!