Implementing a social media policy into your workplace and how to communicate better with your teammates about it

Implementing a social media policy into your workplace and how to communicate better with your teammates about it

Maintaining a strong relationship between current and potential employees creates a culture where communication is smooth and all parties are clear of what is expected.

With an increase in problems related to managing your organisation’s online reputation thanks to web forums and social media, employees experience an overload of information and it can hinder clear communication. These increased platforms, can difficult to balance getting your message across clearly, listening to them, providing feedback, and protecting your interests. The key lies in engaging them the right way. Let’s explore.

4 tips to keep in mind when communicating online:

  1. Identify your organisation’s stakeholders

A thorough understanding of each stakeholder allows you to set clear communication guidelines, i.e. which online channels are to be used, what issues are to be routed to who, frequency of communication and so on. This helps to eliminate confusion and prevent the disastrous efforts of important information falling into the wrong hands.

Imagine a department head accidentally sending an email to all the staff about important information relating to his department.

Key stakeholders to consider as part of your policy should include:

  • CEO and top management should be reached only if it is something of utmost importance, and not daily operational issues.
  • The Human Resources, or HR, team will control overall communications such as the organisation’s intranet and important emails.
  • The Information Technology, or IT, team will manage all of the company’s online activities and security. It is up to them to ensure employees do not use company resources for anything other than productive work. E.g. How many of your colleagues spend their workday on Facebook or YouTube daily?
  • Regional heads and teams
  • All other departments and staff
  • Board of Directors
  • Shareholders
  • Recruitment agencies
  • Future employees (includes those being interviewed for jobs)

All information pertaining to the organisation should be carefully studied and access is granted to various stakeholders on a need to know basis. Remember, a leak about a new product launch through a disgruntled employee can have severe repercussions in terms of competitor action and stock prices.

  1. Embrace transparency

A key mantra practiced by many organisations today is to provide transparent communication. With the advent of social media, it is better for an organisation to admit to an issue, apologise and take remedial action rather than ignore it, which can cause major onslaught from an angry public. This even applies within the company. When it comes to communicating to employees, here are some methodologies you can use to embrace transparency:

  • Do not restrict your employees from talking about your products and services via their personal social media channels: face it, if you are producing defective products or doing unethical stuff, you deserve to be penalised.
  • Realise that not all things can be communicated clearly online. Sometimes, information that can be said through e-mail or even telephone is best said 1-to-1.
  • Offer plenty of opportunities for feedback. Use the company intranet or even email to allow employees to provide feedback while protecting their privacy.
  1. Protect important information

While online channels offer plenty of advantages, they also come with their share of tragedies and even the best security system breaches. New technologies make it easy for employees to steal information and cause utter chaos. Here are a few tips to ensure your information is protected:

  • All computers within the organisation ought to be password protected.
  • The latest antivirus software is in place.
  • Secure computers by not allowing employees to download any software other than the ones available on their devices. All it takes is one computer to get infected with malware for it to spread across the entire network.
  • Employees who work with top-secret information must not be allowed to take their devices outside the workspace.
  • Have adequate backups of all important information.
  1. Exercise caution when interviewing new employees

While some organisations support the practice of interviewing prospects over a coffee or dinner to show good faith, it can also be detrimental. Unless the prospect is a well-known performer, you could be putting your computer at risk when meeting him outside of office premises. What if they are a competitor posing as an employee? Chances are that you have gone to meet them along with your laptop. Cyber criminals have become so sophisticated that one can never be too careful. Next time you interview a prospect:

  • Schedule the interview at your own office.
  • Leave your laptop elsewhere unless essential for the interview itself.
  • Do not email or communicate via social media (with the exception of LinkedIn) unless you are discussing time, location etc. of an interview. Leave all the details of the job and other information for the one-on-one.
  • Do not share sensitive information about your organisation before hiring them.

Online communication, while having many advantages, often comes with detrimental issues. It is imperative to have a clear online communication plan in place when communicating with employees to avoid information leaks and computer hacks.

Author: 

Joanna Sommer is the Senior Editor for InformedMag and is passionate about security and tech. She has been working in the home safety and security field for 5 years. Joanna loves to travel and enjoys going to hot yoga and Barre classes. She is dedicated to creating articles that both educate and help people make an informed purchasing decision.

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