HR: Is your Social Media Policy costing you? 6 Points to a Perfect Policy

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HR: Is your Social Media Policy costing you? 6 Points to a Perfect Policy

As the presence of social media increases, Rachael Simpson of Usomo LTD offers advice on how employers can write an effective Social Media Policy.

Increasingly, we as consumers of technology are offered a growing number of ways to interact socially, be it through the Internet or via smartphone. This in turn can create a policy nightmare for business owners. Should social media be embraced as an important aspect of work/life balance? Or should it be banned completely? Will adopting a middle ground always lead to employee abuse? If you haven’t thought about your company’s Social Media Policy, now is probably the time.

Things to consider:

1. Introduction: Explain the purpose of the policy, and exactly who it applies to.

2. Permitted Social Media Usage: Considering Social Media (including emails etc), explain explicitly how much (if any) time is allowed to this. You should consider lunch breaks, coffee breaks, before and after work.

3. Restrictions: List any websites or group of websites which are restricted from employee access completely.

4. Out of Work Rules: Identify exactly what employees are permitted to disclose on social media sites. For example, disclosing confidential information, or making derogatory statements about colleagues or the employer. It is important to include specific examples of what is considered acceptable and what is not.

5. Disciplinary Procedure: In regards to what the consequences will be should be policy not be adhered to.

6. Relevant Legislation: Relevant legislation on this topic could be included, for example the Employment Act 2002, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the company’s Bullying and Harassment Procedures. Again, the most successful Social Media Policies will have examples of exactly what is considered inappropriate, matched with the relevant employers legislation.

Ultimately, the Social Media is a relatively new concept, and no one policy will cover all eventualities. Recently however, it is becoming increasingly important for employers to protect themselves by having a Social Media Policy in place, so… is your Social Media Policy costing you?

Rachael Simpson, Marketing Analyst Usomo LTD

Usomo is a company providing VoIP solutions to small businesses. It provides both single-user and multi-user VoIP with various PBX features. For more information, please visit:

www.usomo.co.uk

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