Previously reported on in this blog was the issue of employees – CEOs included – posting inappropriate comments or private company information on social media sites. Workers who did not follow specific policies were often let go.
While the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is responsible for investigating and addressing unfair labor practices, they have also issued rulings in the past that censured companies for creating inappropriate policies to monitor employee social media use.
Recently, the NLRB released a 27-page memo that details how to create an acceptable social media policy that does not infringe upon employees' free speech or labor rights and goes on to offer guidance for businesses going forward.
Essentially, the board urges companies to ensure that all employees are aware of the rules within the company and understand what is considered appropriate. All tweets and online postings need to be respectful, honest and accurate. Anything that is known to be false, or underlined as private company info should not be published.
Additionally, the memo dictates that if an employee ever has any questions or doubts about social media postings to consult with a manager or human resources representative. Unless a post or comment is directly work-related, it probably should not be made at all, as personal messages should not be made from a work computer.
Overall, the NLRB acknowledged that as technology continues to evolve, specific policies dealing with social media will need to be fine-tuned in the future.
Another good way to prepare all employees within a company for possible repercussions from posting information on sites such as Twitter or Facebook is to pair with a business continuity consultant. These professionals are adept at preparing for all types of situations and will ensure that each individual understands how to maintain a positive image of the business.