The biggest challenge in HR faces is in managing its use, not controlling or blocking it. Social media can be a double-edged sword and businesses must be adept at utilizing every opportunity in order to remain competitive.
First, HR needs to implement social media guidelines. Blocking access is useless unless you’re going to monitor every time an employee uses their mobile phones or other devices. You could spend significant time and resources on monitoring and prevention. Blocking and over monitoring employees’ use of social media can become extremely costly, if you’re not careful.
Rather than blocking them from the use of social medias, employees should be properly trained. Specific guidelines should be introduced and thoroughly explained on how to use these medias properly. A few guidelines could include:
- Promoting the company and its products
- Monitoring customer feedback
- Recruiting candidates and employees
- Researching the competition
Along with educating on proper usage of the social medias, ensure to include education regarding confidentiality, copyrights, and privacy.
Once trained, holding employees accountable will be key. Inappropriate use of social media should not and cannot be tolerated. Appropriate use should be encouraged; reward employees who use it appropriately and for the benefit of the company. On the other hand, be ready to discipline or terminate your best employee for inappropriate usage as well. Failure to hold all employees to the same level of accountability will only result in a failed effort.
Employees and, just as importantly, your customers will be using social media as a primary communication tool more frequently as new devices and applications become available. Successful interaction between employees and customers will depend upon access to social media. HR must lead the way (with the backing of management), setting the proper examples and embracing what technology has to offer, rather than stifling it.