Social Media Policy

We are adding a policy to our handbook on social media. I've taken the policy from this site and conformed it to our business. The COO wants to add verbiage in the managment handbook that no managers should use social media to communicate with subordinates. Do any of you have this in your policy? I'm looking for the best way to word this.

Thanks for your help!

Comments

  • 20 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • We don't have this policy and if we did I would be in big trouble as I use social media (Facebook) to communicate with subordinates on a regular basis.

    My guess is your COO wants to prohibit or limit the opportunity for certain TYPES of interactions. So my thought is why not write a policy that addresses those interactions rather than the medium by which they take place.

    Social media is also a very vague term. Is e-mail social media? Does social media include texting? If you decide to define social media be prepared for a long list: Facebook, twitter, Linked In, Myspace, Foursquare, Google Plus, etc...

    I am not saying that your COO is mistaken in wanting to limit social media interaction between managers and subordinates. In some settings that would be a good idea. Social media communication is fraught with potential liability for businesses. But I just think its going to be more complicated than writing "dont communicate with subordinates on social media".

    How will you address those managers who have subordinates that are part of their social network sites already? Will they have to "un-friend" them?
  • How will you track this? What if someone has FB friends and gets a promotion? Will you require them to un-friend their co-workers? What if you hire a manager who heard about your job via a FB friend? Will they have to un-friend them? I think this needs more thought before you implement such a policy.
  • Perfect example of an area of behavior that is already covered by your other policies (presumably)... Guidelines covering interpersonal communication should apply regardless of the form of communication. That includes harassment of any form.
  • This just got me thinking that if I couldn't communicate with my subordinates over social media I would have to defriend Frank and Nae Nae.
  • Thanks much for your responses. I agree that this would be very hard to track. Being ethical goes way beyond social media. I'll ask the COO what he wants to accomplish and why.

    Paul, you crack me up!
  • Paul, did you think you were our band leader? I know we haven't talked about the band for awhile, but I think you forgot which part you play.
  • So.... Bethk, how did your conversation with your COO go?
  • Met with him last Friday and he wants to ban all management from communiting wth employees via social media. This can't really be policed, and who has the time? He's concerned of the risk it could have for our company, like potential retaliation or discrmination claims. I'll write it up and get our lawyer's opinion and let you kinow what he says.
  • I think it would be wiser to train managers and write a policy on proper use by managers. You can't police this and forbiding it entirely might backfire in court.

    Hope your lawyer gives you good advice and keeps your managers out of trouble.

    Good luck!
  • Good luck Bethk. If you can, add "drunk texting" to your list of banned social media.
  • It's a good idea, Paul, but do people who 'drunk text' really know they are not just texting?
  • I was being sarcastic. I just think its so futile to try to "prohibit" a type of communication when so many other ways to communicate exist.

    While its true that the false sense of privacy of social media and the ability to use it all hours of the day (or night) can be problematic, a total ban of social media communication seems heavy handed and short sighted.
  • With all due respect to the work that goes into this site, I reviewed (and was attempting to use) the Social Media Policy recommended on this site for our handbook revision. Unfortunately, the policy on this site has not been revised since 2009 and I don't feel comfortable using it. I would hope that in light of the NLRB complaint earlier this year and subsequent “guidance” which seems to still give employers some parameters on what they can and cannot discipline for with regards to social media, that this site's policy would be updated. I am not comfortable using it as it seems to be on the "too restrictive" side. But, please, by all means, correct me if I'm wrong. Otherwise - does anyone have a CURRENT policy they are willing to share?
  • [quote=jami;722968]With all due respect to the work that goes into this site, I reviewed (and was attempting to use) the Social Media Policy recommended on this site for our handbook revision. Unfortunately, the policy on this site has not been revised since 2009 and I don't feel comfortable using it. I would hope that in light of the NLRB complaint earlier this year and subsequent “guidance” which seems to still give employers some parameters on what they can and cannot discipline for with regards to social media, that this site's policy would be updated. I am not comfortable using it as it seems to be on the "too restrictive" side. But, please, by all means, correct me if I'm wrong. Otherwise - does anyone have a CURRENT policy they are willing to share?[/quote]


    Jami,

    Your first post! Welcome to the forum.

    Also, thanks for the reminder that we need to update our social media policy. We'll review and should have an updated policy on both HRHero and HRLaws by the end of the week.

    Sharon

    :welcome:
  • I heard from our lawyer the end of last week and he said to go ahead and use the policy. He did say we have to take off the statement that employees may be required to disclose if they have a personal website or blog. And yes, I have to keep in there that management is not allowed to communicate with subordinates. This may prove to be very interesting.

    Before I finalized this I will wait for the updated policy. Thanks Sharon!
  • Would you be willing to share this policy with us when you have the final wording? I would be curious to see how you define social media.

    Keep us posted as you enter this brave new world...
  • [quote=Sharon McKnight SPHR;722971]Jami,

    Your first post! Welcome to the forum.

    Also, thanks for the reminder that we need to update our social media policy. We'll review and should have an updated policy on both HRHero and HRLaws by the end of the week.

    Sharon




    Just a quick update:

    We're still in the review process on our social media policy and hope to have it finalized by the middle of next week. Will keep you posted.

    Have a great weekend, everyone!

    Sharon
  • Good news!

    Our revised social media policy is now available on both HRHero and HRLaws.

    Sharon
  • cblackburncblackburn 2 Posts
    edited August 2015 PMVote Up0Vote Down
    For some words of wisdom on keeping your social media policy open-ended, check out a short video of AEIS presenter, employment law attorney, and blogger Molly DiBianca on our Tech for HR blog.

    Celeste
  • edited August 2015 PMVote Up0Vote Down
    The NLRB released another memo of guidance on social media policies yesterday. 1 of the 7 policies reviewed passed the test because it provided examples of specific prohibited behavior and therefore couldn't be misunderstood to put overly broad restrictions on employees' Section 7 rights. I've posted on our tech blog about it.

    What I found the most interesting when I was researching the post was reading analysis by employment law attorneys who seem to be fed up with the NLRB striking down so many policies for being ambiguous and overly broad.

    Molly DiBianca makes several great points on the topic and gets in a few good digs on the Delaware Employment Blog in her post "The NLRB Is Laughing All the Way to the Bank." She points out: In short G.C. Solomon has made one thing clear--if you are an employer, there is just about no way you can draft a policy that addresses employees' off-duty use of social media that you can feel confident will not potentially run afoul of the NLRA. Or at least of Mr. Solomon's interpretation of the NLRA. 
    But don't worry too much. DiBianca maintains: I, for one, am ready to move on. Unless and until the General Counsel publishes a report that a lawyer of average intelligence can translate into something useful, I am no longer interested. And what's the consequence of this brazen disregard? Not much. As I've posted previously, the risk of having a policy that is later found to be in violation of the NLRA is that you would have to change your policy and put up a posting about the change. 

    Have any of you ever felt like you just couldn't win with a social media policy since the NLRB started to get heavily involved in late 2010? Does Molly's post ease your mind?

    Celeste


    PS If you want to check out the memo, which includes the full text of the social media the NLRB found lawful, it's on the NLRB's website.