Dream turned nightmareSunday, November 28, 2021
Welcome! Join us as we dive into the dynamic and crucial, yet often misunderstood and barely tolerated world of human resources (HR).
WE live in a world where it seems that people prefer to show it all and share it all publicly, and where the line between personal and professional has become extremely blurred for many.
This is especially true over the last two years in our COVID-19-disrupted world, where social media has been a welcome outlet for many battling fear and loss; it's been a source of information in a time of uncertainty and rapid changes, and a lifeline for staying connected while isolated.
For most companies, it has been an invaluable way to recruit, communicate, engage, and network during this unique and challenging time.
It has also been a source of misinformation, security challenges, a productivity thief, as well as a preferred channel for unhappy and panicked team members to speak out on issues.
Social media is a double-edged sword, and no doubt can be a potential HR nightmare.
In this new world where personal and professional lives have collided; where perceived rights often override appropriateness and good sense; where stress levels are high and tolerance levels are low, it is wise to have some guardrails in place to protect the company, its business and brand, as well as its team members publicly.
If you find yourself behind the eight ball even now, developing a social media policy should be high on your HR priority list.
To get you started, here are just a few things that should be covered in the policy:
•Define proprietary information and be clear about what company-related business and activities are off-limits and are prohibited from being shared.
•Refer to other company conduct policies directly and make it clear that they also apply to behaviours on social media.
•Define appropriate use, give general guidelines for personal posts on personal feeds, provide examples of policy violations, as well as outline disciplinary measures to be taken if violations occur.
At the end of the day, team members should always bear in mind that whatever is posted on social media also represents their own professional brand.
•Address productivity in terms of social media use during work time.
•Advise that workplace conflicts should stay offline. As tempting as it can be, team members should avoid venting about workplace frustrations with management or other team members publicly.
Also ensure that the channels for reporting and addressing grievances are in place and that they are communicated.
•Outline how the corporate social media policies for corporate accounts are to be treated and ensure that the necessary security measures are in place.
“With great power comes great responsibility” – Voltaire.
All team members are your company's brand ambassadors, and whatever goes out on social media is written in ink and cannot be permanently erased.
In an era of oversharing and where posting is second nature, you can mitigate your risk by educating team members and protecting the brand at the same time. Having some clearly outlined do's and don'ts should encourage persons to think twice before posting a picture or an opinion online... hopefully.
Talk more soon,
My name is Carolyn Bolt. HR happened upon me seven years ago, and there has been no turning back from this challenging, critical, very rewarding and often frustrating matter of people since then. Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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