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Social Media HR Policy: Are You Prepared For Facebook Sabotage?

By December 15, 2011 February 19th, 2015 No Comments

SONY DSCWe just can’t stress it enough –  No matter the size of your company, it’s imperative to have a Social Media Policy in place.

We recently learned of a small business with a good reputation that was the target of Facebook sabotage.  We’re not talking about a rogue entity hacking into their Facebook business page.  We’re not even talking about a group of people.  For a number of weeks, one employee of this company posted negative feedback, several times daily, about the company on their personal Facebook page while on company time.   Unfortunately, it cannot be said that the company’s reputation was left untarnished because at the very least, hundreds of the employee’s Facebook friends (a.k.a. customers and potential customers) would have seen the negative posts.

Could this have been avoided?  Yes, had the company incorporated a Social Media Policy.

Employees should be reminded that social media such as Facebook and Twitter are public forums and that there is no entitlement of privacy.  As a result, employees have a duty to ALWAYS act in a way that will encourage public trust and confidence. This extends to both personal and professional activities.

It is the company’s responsibility to make employees aware that posting any financial, confidential, sensitive, or proprietary information about the company on any social media site is prohibited and enforced.  While on company time, employees are expected to work on company related business.  Therefore, it should be made crystal clear to employees that if they are found blogging, tweeting or posting on social media sites on company time, they will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Once your Social Media Policy is in place, ensure that your employees have read it by making it mandatory that they sign a copy of the Policy itself and then keep it in their personnel files.  Be sure to make your employees aware that your company may even take steps to monitor social networking, as employees are not anonymous when engaged in it, and as such may potentially take action if violations of the Policy are identified.

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