While many employers have rules on employee conduct, according to Pew Research, 45% of employees say that their employers don’t have a social media policy at work. Yet many admit that social media plays an important role in their lives. From taking a break to learning about their co-workers, social media is a part of society. Social media policy best-practices are important to be aware of. Having a clearly defined social media policy can help set expectations and mitigate risk to your organization.
What’s Included in a Social Media Policy?
Your social media policy shouldn’t be vague. It needs to include definitions, violations, and consequences. When you’re creating your policy remember to include:
- Definitions: How your organization defines social media, such as blogs, personal websites, forums, social networks, social media groups, online communities, apps, and games.
- Employee Conduct: When, where, what and how employees can use social media during the workday, if at all. You may also have a policy that includes expectations when they’re off the clock, including what they may or may not say about your organization or other employees.
- Approval Process: Include what requires approval and how to obtain it in writing.
- Customer Information: Document what may or may not be posted regarding customers. Generally, organizations do not allow employees to post pictures or information regarding customers, citizens, or the Tribe without express written consent.
- Confidential Information: Social media images that include receipts, computer screens, memos, files and other sensitive information should be explicitly documented in your policy.
- Violations: What your organization considers a violation and the consequences of offenses.
While you need to be specific, being too specific in your written social media policy can also cause problems. If you mention Facebook, but forget to mention Twitter, your employees might believe that the policy doesn’t apply to Twitter. Instead of listing social media networks individually, you should define social media in your policy and provide examples of social media networks in your training and in employee conversations.
Train Your Employees
Often times, employees are unaware of violations because social media is just a part of their daily lives. They may inadvertently post a credit card slip that has a nice thank you on it from a customer but also has the customer’s name and credit card information. They may take a photo of their co-worker, but not realize that the computer behind the co-worker has a customer’s name, social security number, and address displayed.
There is much confusion when it comes to what’s appropriate or not in social media. Training your employees can help provide clarification and reduce the risk of a violation.
Social Media Policy Best-Practices for Tribal Businesses
Knowing social media policy best-practices and having a clear social media policy in place helps facilitate a great culture, improves productivity, mitigates the risk of unfair unemployment charges, and helps in legal cases. It’s important to update your social media policy frequently and notify your employees of changes. Remember to have employees sign an updated acknowledgment form and remind them that it’s their responsibility to know and follow the rules.
If you have questions about how you can mitigate your risk by implementing a social media policy for your Tribal business, contact us today.