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Social media: eight steps to better risk management

Social media: eight steps to better risk management

18 July 2014

Given the huge rise of social media, it’s no wonder businesses are increasingly alarmed about the risk it poses to their reputation.

Many businesses have out-of-date policies that don’t even mention social media. This makes it much harder to discipline employees if they use social media inappropriately. It could also be more difficult to defend any disciplinary action you have taken in an unfair dismissal or discrimination case.

If you’re one of those businesses whose policies could do with some attention, these eight steps will help you get protected in today’s connected world. Get the full picture in our briefing below.

1. Understand your social media strategy

Should you encourage, discourage or simply tolerate your employees’ use of social media? You’ll need to know the answers to questions like this before you start to build a strategy that will work for you.

2. Update or implement your social media policy

The details it’s essential to cover: what rules should you set for using social media as a business tool; when and for how long can employees access social media sites at work; how does your social media policy fit in with your other policies?

3. Review your disciplinary policy

What behaviour on social media will and won’t you tolerate? You’ll need to have a clear line on issues like this before you can take decisive action.

4. Update your equal opportunities and anti-harassment policies

How ready are you to respond quickly and in line with your policies if an employee complains of harassment or discrimination by social media?

5. Roll out new training

Training can be a useful defence against claims of harassment or discrimination. What’s the best way to train your employees and defend your business?

6. Reconsider your recruitment and background-checking process

Should you check out potential new employees on social media? Find out what risks you run if you decide to do this.

7. Review your employment contracts

Do your contracts cover social media rights over LinkedIn contacts or Twitter followers? This could be valuable property you may need to protect.

8. Be prepared to manage a crisis

Do you know exactly what you would do if something went wrong for your company on social media? How to avoid scrambling around at the last minute if an abusive tweet goes viral.

Find out more about how to protect your business. (PDF, 242KB)