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Using social media for business communication, other than social engagements, is now the norm. When employees use their personal social media accounts to communicate their perspectives, lifestyle choices, personal stances on politics, company issues, and so on, it can potentially have a direct or indirect impact on the company’s branding and credibility in the industry.
If an employee’s negatively expressed opinions are further propagated through the general public, it can have a deep and long-lasting impact on the company’s reputation. All employees are ambassadors of the organisation they work for, whether during or outside of work.
Any organisation must keep their employees informed of the reasons and policies for the need to monitor their social media accounts, including how this is implemented. It is therefore best to keep these policies open and transparent in a continuous effort to maintain the trust between the company and staff.
Adopting and communicating a Code of Business Conduct can help provide a guide about acceptable behaviours that comply with the company’s guidelines.
It is important to establish the boundaries upfront so that employees can understand the reasons behind the monitoring of their internet usage, including social media platforms.
Alternatively, some companies may prefer to communicate the same through their employee handbook, which may include additional or specific rules of engagement for social media.
Not complying with the established policies may result in disciplinary actions.