December 14, 2011
Social Media Policies In The Workplace Can Impact Professional Health
Usage of the internet outside the scope of daily work flow is a question employers can evaluate prior to executing a plan for marketing. A stance on where, how, and why employees interact with one another and also with the larger population of internet users over open communication platforms during the course of their job performance might require the involvement of hiring managers prior to the creation of a job description.
Employees, interviewees, and HR resources are not necessarily on the same page during the process of evaluating for placement of interested potential. Vacillation on subjects of boundaries according to where the employer requires or requests input from their contingent as employed, and where an employer decides separation from the job and the profession, or the professional as employed, can impact not only the business of an organization, but the occupational health of the employable professional. Regardless of opinion as to employee behavior online, an employer who does not currently require firm understanding of when and how work dictates the use of social interests online, and when the use is separate from work so that rather than speaking and acting as or for the company, instead an employee should be speaking and acting alone, might precipitate the need for a general use policy which clearly identifies use within the scope of employment.
A policy or employment guideline could include the idea that speaking under the context of being an employee and an expert on any opinion of the employer, on any issue, is either understood as acceptable, or it is not. Jeremy T. Simons, Esq, an attorney blogger, suggests “There are some reports by national news media outlets that employers are requiring potential employees to disclose their social media account names and passwords as part of the employment screening process.” He questions this employment practice as overstepping a potential boundary, “how far can an employer base its initial employment decision or its continued employment status on the employee’s personal life and decisions?” Suggesting that employers may someday use relevant personal habits and opinions an employee or professional decides to make public to communities or networks of potential common interest with the employer, an offense, and one that is cause for termination.
Careful consideration given to online activities keeps connections healthy and might be the difference between staying employed, and employing a remedy.
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