Social Media Safety in the Workplace

Social Media Safety in the Workplace

Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. Research shows that over 302 million people in the US actively use social media today, which is about 90% of the total population. Facebook is the biggest platform, followed by Instagram then Tik Tok and Twitter. Because social media impacts us greatly, both in our time management and our mental health, there are some ground rules that you’ll want to implement while your employees are on the clock.

It’s Not All Bad

Of course, social media usage at work isn’t all bad. Allowing employees to take reasonable mental breaks throughout the day with access to their social media accounts can be a welcome respite from their duties. It also shows you trust them by providing moments to take a breather how they want. Social media is also a great way for your employees to communicate and connect during work and outside of work hours. People often become better friends through social media because of the easy access. Additionally, some social media platforms such as LinkedIn can help employees boost their personal development. They can connect with other professionals, providing them with more chances to learn new ideas and grow. Companies can also use social media as a way to boost their brand. You can encourage your employees to share positive information about the company on their personal pages, which is a form of free advertising. So, don’t squash all usage of social media, but also take some steps to ensure it’s not getting out of hand.

Guidelines are a Must

Social media usage at work shouldn’t be a free for all. There are some dangers such as employees leaking confidential information, which is serious, even if it’s an accident. You also want to make sure people aren’t looking at inappropriate matter while on the clock. The most effective way to address social media usage is through a written policy and direct, consistent communication. Communicate your expectations with your employees so they know they’re allowed some freedom if honesty and integrity are being displayed. You may also want to train your employees on how to use social media appropriately when representing the company and inform them on exactly what is allowed and what is not. Depending on your field, educating your employees on copyright laws or data protection may be necessary. If your employees seem to be overstepping the bounds of the allowances you’ve given, you’ll want to rein it back in quickly through trainings and updated policies.

Because there are privacy concerns when it comes to management of employee social media use, it’s important to know your rights as a business owner as well as the rights of your employees. Jackson Lewis, P.C. states: “While private sector employees have no inherent constitutional right to privacy, employer conduct is limited by common-law principles and federal and state privacy laws.”

If you need assistance creating and implementing a social media safety policy manual, Shield-Safety has got you covered. With constantly changing technology, it’s imperative for employers to stay ahead of the game.