SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
Global – More than half of employers have disciplined their staff for revealing information about the company or discussing other colleagues on a social network.
According to a survey by law firm DLA Piper in the UK, a fifth of companies have taken disciplinary proceedings against an employee for displaying information about a colleague on a social media site. Another 31% have disciplined staff for posting information about the organisation.
Yet the “Knowing Your tweet From Your Trend: Keeping Pace With Social Media in the Workplace” report found that 76% of businesses have a corporate social media presence. Nearly two-thirds also actively encourage staff to use social media for work-related activities.
The majority of 355 senior executives polled have corporate accounts on Facebook (86%), LinkedIn (78%) and Twitter (62%). While many corporate pages were set up to increase brand awareness (80%), employers would also use social media for recruitment (42%), staff communication (39%), employee engagement (37%) and collaboration (28%).
Kate Hodgkiss, partner in DLA Piper's employment practice and author of the report, said employers do recognise the benefits of using social media to reach out to a wider audience. Hodgkiss said online engagement is usually cheaper than traditional methods and can reach its targets “far more quickly”.
However, businesses need to understand how to minimise the risks of employees who go out of line as legal ramifications from social media abuse have become a growing concern.
Currently, 28% of employers do not have restrictive clauses in their senior staff's contracts on using business contacts on social networks after their termination.
Some 34% agreed they were exposed to risk because confidential information may be posted on social media sites.
Only a quarter of respondents had a dedicated social media policy. More than two in five had a social media policy that was tied with another IT or HR policy.
Hodgkiss said the research has highlighted the need for companies to regularly assess and update their social media policies.
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