Internet use policies for employees are commonplace, however these do not always deal effectively with how employees conduct themselves out of hours.
There’s an argument that what people get up to in their own time is their business, but the prevalence of social media pretty much trumps that especially when something goes viral.
Why have one?
These are our top 5 reasons why your business needs a social media policy.
1. It sets the boundaries of acceptable behaviour, whether it be venting about work (it happens) or arguing with someone about a post. It can assist employers faced with situations like the Clementine Ford scenario (where a man lost his job after she outed him to his employer for calling her a choice name).
2. It defines what your business considers confidential information, and what approvals are required before discussing certain topics like performance results, management changes or a deal your business is negotiating or has signed.
3. It states the consequences for breaching the policy and ensures employees are aware they can be held responsible for what they post online.
4. It’s aligned with your brand values and culture and makes it clear that an employee’s behaviour online can reflect on your brand.
5. It sets parameters about whether something posted online (even out of hours) is unacceptable and whether it warrants disciplinary action or dismissal.
A well drafted social media policy can therefore be used to limit exposure to unfair dismissal claims.
It doesn’t have to be long and boring
Keep the language simple and engaging. Some of the best social media policies are short and to the point.
The key is that your policy clearly outlines the boundaries of behaviour and the potential consequences for breaching it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Kelly is the founder of KHQ Approved, which offers fixed fee solutions across a range of areas (including marketing law and contract review). Peace of mind from an experienced team for a reasonable price.