Have You Updated Your Employee Handbook to Cover Social Media?

Social Media Employee Policy (Hospitality)

Have you updated your employee handbook to cover staff use of social media? You should – and quick.

It’s a very safe bet that 95% of your staff are on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other networks. Some of them probably have blogs. You might think they’re just chatting away about their personal lives. I’ll bet you some of them have talked about work online.

What’s your employee policy about discussing work online?

We all know that anything someone has posted online is public information. When was the last time you checked to see if a disgruntled or fired employee has posted something negative or damaging to your reputation in the community?

Consider this – a key employee shares sensitive and confidential information about your business goals, projects or plan with others through a blog or on Facebook. How do you keep that from happening?

Have you considered where the intersection of free speech and your business interests occurs?

The leading theorists on social media (see below) advocate that there is a wonderful opportunity to harness the energy and enthusiasm of your staff online. Instead of just you talking about the great things about your restaurant – open it up and let your employees talk about those things online too. Here’s the kicker – how do you guide your crew to do that in the best way?

Adding a social media policy to your employee manual isn’t a complex task – but it’s necessary. You want to provide best guidance for your crew and establish a framework that empowers them to share the good things… and prevents them from slandering as much as possible if they are unhappy.

Here at Chalkboarder.com we’ve been researching this for a bit and have come across some great resources to learn from. We’ll post that link down below. Here’s a basic template policy we found over at About.com. It looks easily modifiable to your particular needs.

Basic Social Media Policy for Employee Handbook

Additional Social Media Policies for Reference

Leading Social Media Theorists (Our Favorites)

As always, social media is all about engagement and dialogue – we’d love your feedback!

Jeffrey Kingman




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