Employers Should Develop Social Media Policies for Employees
Smart phones are the standard method of communication today, and for most people social media is a way of life. Whether accessing through their computers, phones, or other devices, employees may be spending more working time than they should on social media websites. It is necessary for all companies to put in place social media policies for employees. A policy will provide employees with guidelines for when and how they can access social media and will allow employers to be able to have more control over the workplace.
Why You Need a Policy
Policies are necessary in order to maintain a properly working business. As the owner, you have the responsibility for creating and enforcing policies for your employees. As the world changes and technology advances, it is necessary to update employee guidelines to include information regarding the handling of social media. A policy helps you protect every aspect of your business and allows you to stop potential social media abuse.
Social Media Guidelines
Social media guidelines will vary from company to company, depending on your specific needs and concerns. It is important to determine exactly what you want to accomplish with your social media policy. Typically, companies need to balance their need for the positive use of social media in their business with an overreaching invasion of privacy of employees. This can be a fine line and one that may require some assistance from a knowledgeable business attorney.
Enforcement of Policies
Once policies are in place, it is essential that your management team enforces them properly. Policies must be overseen and enforced in a fair manner across all employees. Employees need to understand any potential consequences for violating the policies. A clear and precise policy will outline the penalties for violation. The policy should clearly state, for example, that the employee will receive one written warning for their first offense and may be terminated if another offense occurs.
Drafting a Policy
Policies such as those dealing with social media should be drafted properly. They need to take into account the employee’s rights and, at the same time, protect the company. There are a number of different online policy templates that are available. However, it is best to have the policy written or reviewed by an attorney before putting it into place. You need to be sure that the policy is enforceable and that it provides the protection that you expect. When you need assistance with any legal aspect of your business, contact the experienced attorneys at Udall Shumway PLC to provide the help you require.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Social Media Policies for Employees, or any other litigation matter, please feel free to contact Stockton D. Banfield at 480.461.5356, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.