Social Media – dos and don’ts
The best approach is for an employer to make it clear to employees what conduct online is acceptable, and what is not. The employer should include social networking in its discipline policy; giving clear examples of what will be regarded as gross misconduct – for example, posting derogatory or offensive comments on the internet about the company or a work colleague.There can be confusion over what is acceptable use of social media, some employees can see it as a platform for free speech and believe they should be able to say what they want.
Employers may be keen for employees to promote the organisation’s brand on social media, but not at the cost of making unwelcome posts.
Employers should make it clear when employees will be seen as representing the company and what personal views they can express – employees may be forbidden from expressing political views.
Employees may be required to use a disclaimer on any blogs, comments on social networking sites or tweets – include a statement that the views expressed are their own and do not represent the employer’s view.
Staff should be made aware that the use of social media will be monitored and where abuse is uncovered action may be taken under the disciplinary procedure.