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How HR teams can avoid a social media crisis

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Whether you like it or not social media is playing an increasingly important role in our lives. One just needs to look at the US media and political landscape to see in stark view the role it plays in things from policy to legal battles.

Yet a survey by office suppliers, Viking found that much work needs to be done by companies to their position on social media is made clear to their employees. Especially as the results found that employees spend an average of 52 minutes a day procrastinating at work – often on social media. Furthermore, massive reputational damage can be caused by careless or disgruntled employees taking to platforms such as Twitter, venting frustrations or even sensitive data.

In fact, the data showed; by tracking hashtags on Twitter an average of 135 employees are tweeting about hating their job every Friday, totalling 1,348 tweets about hating jobs, bosses and colleagues in 2017 – and that’s just on Fridays.

Here are some important stats to remember when formulating a social media policy for your staff.

  • Social media was restricted in some way for 44.8% of workers
    • Of these, 34.8% of them access it anyway
  • Of the workers that still used social media despite it being restricted.
    • 40.6% stated they rarely thought about the social media policy.
    • A further 31.25% never thought about it.
  • When asked why they use it when it’s restricted:
    • 35.9% simply didn’t care at all about the restrictions or the consequences
    • 23% said they did it because they knew how to get around the restrictions
    • Men were less likely to care about restrictions than women (38.89% vs 33.33%)
    • 15% would turn to social media to vent work frustrations
    • 5.4% actually had done this
  • 36.6% of workers in the survey were free to use it whenever they wanted
  • Just 8.6% of workers were shown a social media policy thoroughly when they started work
  • 52.6% weren’t shown a policy at all.
  • 23.2% couldn’t remember – suggesting that if they were shown it, it can’t have been very comprehensively.

“It’s surprising that, in 2018, as many as 62% of the UK’s workers are either unaware of their company having a social media policy in place or are currently working without one. Not only is it really important from an HR and legal perspective, these companies could also be missing out on the productivity boon that a considerate, modern social media policy can bring to the working environment,” said Claire Porciani, senior manager of HR operations UK & Ireland at Viking, in a press statement.

“Less unofficial breaks and more frequent stress relief mini-breaks can do your workforce a world of good. These benefits can be had for the price of a good social media policy and, if done well, this can remain in place for years to come. The issue is that, if a company is unaware of the risks of operating without a social media policy, it might take an instance of reputation damage, or a similar negative issue, to raise the blinds on the problem.”

ALSO READ: Six things you can learn from a candidate’s social media

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