Social Media in Today's Workplace

How Social Media Fits in the Workplace

Social media remains a hot topic for today’s businesses. Some companies restrict and police how employees use it. Other companies embrace social media as a tool to deliver customer service, improve brand reputation, and increase collaboration among employees. It is important that organizations make rules to suit their own circumstances.

Opportunities for Social Media at Work

Originally, businesses feared that productivity would fall if employees engaged with their social networks at work. Some Studies show that employees with social media access are more productive than those without. Positive ways to use social media in the workplace:

• Recruit online. Current employees can share your open positions and find qualified colleagues who are typically better potential candidates. 

• Gain employee engagement. Ask employees to share promotions with their networks to spread your content and make employees feel more connected to your company.

• Encourage productivity. An engaged workforce is a competitive advantage online as well as in the workplace, because engaged workers are happier and more productive.

Policies for Social Media at Work

Social media policies aren’t all about controls.  Some companies appoint teams to create and manage suitable content that engage employees and customers. Others focus more on legal issues or on keeping up with technology and the rapidly changing social media space. 

Generally, however, companies want to restrict employees from saying anything derogatory about the organization, its owners, products, vendors, employees on social media.  A written policy that does this can be risky. The NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) does not accept policies that restrict an employee’s right to discuss terms and conditions of employment.

 The NLRB defines an acceptable social media policy:

• Employer policies should not be so sweeping that they prohibit the kinds of activity protected by federal labor law, such as the discussion of wages or working conditions among employees.

• An employee’s comments on social media are generally not protected if they are mere gripes not made in relation to group activity among employees.

Social Media Policy case law continues to tighten the span and scope of legal acceptance.  Companies should get advice before setting up any policy on social media. 

Best Practices for Social Media

We recommend you contact us before creating a written Social Media Policy.  If you need a policy we will work with you to ensure your policy includes legal use and abuse of social media, creates annual audits, provides employee training and includes former employees in your social media strategy. 

If you already have a Social Media Policy we can review the policy regularly to make sure it stays up-to-date with case law and technology. Whatever strategy is right for your business, we can help you craft a policy that protects your interests. Call us today for assistance.
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