Care to Share?

With the country deeply divided and conspiracy theories around everything from election fraud to COVID-19 abounding, it’s a good time for companies to review (or adopt) social media policies. Make sure employees understand them, managers are trained in implementing them and policies comply with all appropriate federal and state laws.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Be empathetic in communicating with employees. Recognize the passions of the moment, but communicate the need to respect one’s colleagues and be mindful of one’s audience. 
  • Clearly explain what types of content could create problems, including harassing and bullying behavior, discriminatory or offensive language and knowingly sharing verifiably false or misleading posts. 
  • Encourage digital literacy and provide guidelines for employees to vet online content for accuracy to prevent the spread of misinformation.
  • Consistently underscore your company’s core values so employees know which behaviors may violate them.
  • Draw the line at hate speech of any kind, speech that is severe enough to constitute a hostile work environment, threats to employee safety or of workplace violence, trade secrets, and confidential and proprietary company information.
  • Consistently apply your social media policy. Employers can face liability and damaged credibility if employees are treated differently for the same or similar conduct without legitimate nondiscriminatory explanations.
  • Remind employees of avenues to report inappropriate conduct and promptly investigate any reports of potentially problematic social media behavior.