Social Media

Social Media

14 Mar
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, HR Policy, Policies and Procedures, policy, Social Media, Video, Vlog   |  No Comments

Companies need to think about what they will and will not allow their staff to do in terms of social media.

Do employees have access to company accounts and if so, what are the rules around the use of that account?

If employees comment on ‘a day at the office’ what might the implications be for your business in terms of reputation to clients, suppliers and exisiting or potential employees.

A clear, well thought through policy is essential to enable apropriate use of social media for your business.

When Social Media Goes Wrong

13 Aug
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, HR Policy, Social Media   |  No Comments

Having to give an employee their notice is never a pleasant experience for either party.

If the situation does arise, the best outcome is that both you and the member of staff in question can leave the relationship amicably with the right contracts and paperwork to back you up…

However, that’s not always the case.

I came across an article this week that described the recent dismissal of a canal worker:

After eight good years of service, the employee was dismissed due to his actions on Facebook two years previously, he took his case to a tribunal where the mitigating circumstances allowed him to claim unfair dismissal.

Now I don’t claim to be the Queen of social media, but I DO  know that posting derogatory comments about your work and your boss on your Facebook account, plus letting the world know you’re getting drunk on company time is a rather stupid idea that definitely isn’t going to stay private.

The Employment Appeals Tribunal  have since overturned the decision, and the unfair dismissal charge has been dropped.

As these cases involving social media are still fairly new and few in number, it’s easy to see why businesses aren’t always prepared when their staff act inappropriately online.

However, it’s essential that you layout your  expectations and make sure your employees have the correct guidelines, knowing what they can and can’t do when they are using the internet not only at work but when referencing work as well.

How to create boundaries between social media at home and work…

  • Develop a policy setting out  what is and what is not acceptable for general behaviour and the use of the internet, emails, smart phones and social media at work.
  • Employees should regularly check the privacy settings on their social networking pages, as they can change.
  • Employers should inform and consult with their employees if planning to change the monitoring of social media activity affecting the workplace.
  • Make sure you have the necessary clauses in your contracts to back up your policies.
  • Make sure your policy on bullying includes references to ‘cyber bullying’…..just in case!

Make sure your business is covered and it’s far less likely that your team will make such misdemeanours or that your employees can take action against you.

Employers should give employees access to Social Media while at work – shouldn’t they?

11 Feb
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Ecademy, HR, LinkedIn, Penny Power, Social Media, Twitter   |  No Comments

I am a technological immigrant and proud to consider myself almost fluent in the language. My children on the other hand are technological natives and for them a world without mobile phones and laptops is as alien as a world without cars is to me.

I listened with interest yesterday to digital social media guru Penny Power of Ecademy as she mentioned in passing that she is working with various bodies to make social media more acceptable in the workplace.

That got me thinking …… When writing employment contracts and employee handbooks, policies and procedures, time and time again employers have asked me to provide a policy preventing employees from surfing the net, blogging, tweeting and accessing Facebook while at work. They want consent to monitor computer / Internet usage and the right to intercept and read mail. In short, they do not want employees wasting time when they should be working and the do not want to pay people for sitting around playing.

So, where does that leave Gen Z? Those for whom online networking is so totally natural they don’t even have to learn it.

Well, many graduates do not want to work for organisations who restrict access to the Internet, do not allow employees to blog and spend time on their facebook page. If this trend grows, then employers are going to be forced to rethink their policies to enable them to successfully compete for top talent.

As a business owner I blog, tweet and use LinkedIn and Ecademy to raise awareness of HR issues and what I do to help employers.

Should large companies develop a social / online media strategy, support it with policy and come kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. Is this a way for big business to survive?