When you mentioned social media to some contractors, they might think of Facebook, or Twitter or perhaps LinkedIn. While those are arguably the main ones, there are a host of others including Google Plus, Tumblr, Foursquare, Pinterest and Instagram to name just a few. Joanna Turpen explored this subject with contractors in a News article some time back, and her findings should cause every contractor to think about this topic.
Are you concerned about employees using these sites on company time, and perhaps posting damaging or inflammatory comments about the company, coworkers or customers? If so, you’re not alone. According to the article, employers social media policies have also attracted the attention of the National Labor Relations Board, which is recently struck down several of these policies, stating that some of the provisions in the employer’s policies are too broad and therefore unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act. That is why it is important that any policy you implement has been evaluated by a lawyer and/or HR professional.
Joanna found, as might be expected, a diversity of opinion on the subject. While most contractors who have a policy tell their employees they will not tolerate the posting of information detrimental to the company or its employees, restrictions beyond that vary. Some take more of a laissez-faire approach while others actively monitor their employees online activities. One thing is for sure however, your employees will be active on social media so as an organization, it is up to you to decide what your organization’s approach will be. If you’re not sure what your approach should be, seek the counsel of other contractors and other small businesses you know and respect for their ideas. Typically, the construct of a social media policy for your organization will not be in a vacuum, rather it will be in the context of an overall policy manual for your organization. There are many inputs for designing such a manual if you do not have one, the key is that any such document should reflect the values you have for your organization while simultaneously making sure it does not breach any ethical or legal barriers.
Source: ACH & R news