SOCIAL MEDIA: Managing the Unmanageable in the Workplace?
Social media is a relatively new phenomenon. Back in 2006, the Trade Union Congress described Facebook’s 3.1 million users as “HR accidents waiting to happen”. Now, employers and employees alike, regularly blog, tweet and access LinkedIn as the interface between where an employee’s professional duty to their employer ends and their private life begins, becomes increasingly blurred. The extraordinary rise in the popularity of social media is undoubtedly creating issues as well as opportunities in the workplace.
Businesses benefit from the ability to use social media for the purpose of portraying a positive image of the business in the public domain thus leading to new business opportunities. It can also be used to enhance the employer’s appeal for recruitment purposes and, perhaps more controversially, to gather information on prospective employees during the recruitment process and provide evidence on existing employees in misconduct cases.
As well as enjoying the abundant advantages of social media, employers should also be mindful of the risks that it presents.