As an employer, you may assume that what your employees do off the clock is none of your business. While this is true to a certain degree, your employees are an extension of your business. Consequently, the actions that your employees take online can reflect on your company. This is especially true when employees post information about business matters on social media. A clear, understandable social media policy is crucial to protecting your company’s reputation and preventing sensitive company information from being shared online.
Protecting Proprietary and Confidential Information
Employees often have access to confidential information like customer contacts, employee personnel files, proprietary business practices, trade secrets, and sensitive financial information. One of the key concerns regarding social media is that employees will intentionally or unintentionally share confidential information online. Your social media policy should address what information is confidential and explain clearly that this information may not be posted online. Remind employees that social media messages, posts, and pictures may still be accessible by others even if their account is set to “private.” In some cases, a social media policy alone is insufficient. You may also need to use a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement to ensure that sensitive information is not leaked online.
Protecting Your Company’s Brand and Reputation
Anything your employees do or say online can reflect on your business. Whether they are complaining about a rude customer, commenting on their work uniform, or sharing a picture from inside the facility, word travels fast online. Something that an employee shares can quickly go “viral.” Your company’s brand can be irrevocably damaged in a matter of days or even hours. Even if the employee deletes the post, screenshots or archived versions of the website may still exist online....