As regular readers of this blog will be aware, employee use of social media can create countless problems for employers (see my previous blogs on social media for some examples). For this reason it is of the utmost important that employers ensure they have clear social media policies in place.
In light of this, I thought I would mention the interesting research paper which ACAS have produced, Workplaces and Social Networking: The Implications for Employment Relations. As well as examining the challenges and opportunities social media presents for managing employment relations, the paper also provides an overview of good practice in this area which may be of assistance to employers.
The paper is divided into sections which look at a variety of social media issues in the workplace including the ability of employees to use the internet in the workplace, social media implications for recruitment, social media and employment law and cyber-bullying. There is also a section which is specifically geared towards formulating a social media policy which is well worth a read for practical tips on best practice.
The paper also lists 9 recommendations for employers on how to manage the issue of use of internet and social networking sites by employees. These are:
- Have a social media/internet use policy in place;
- Ensure that the policy clearly states what your organisation regards as acceptable/unacceptable use and the consequences of breaching the policy;
- Remember that the policy need not be complicated;
- Consult with staff before the policy is finalised;
- Communicate the policy to staff;
- Ensure that appropriate mechanisms are available to staff to raise formal or informal grievances;
- Remember that social media can have its advantages from the point of view of promoting the business and engaging customers or clients;
- Keep up to date with social media developments in employment law; and
- Regularly review policies relating to internet use and social media.
As I mentioned recently I've created a new filter tag for this blog -"Social Media" - which you will see on the right hand side of the screen which groups my social media related blogs together.