Social Media at work

by todaystrainingblog

October 22, 2013

Social Media at work


                There is no simple answer to social media in your business or preventing it from scuttling it! If you have employees, then you’ll have them posting pictures and messages on Facebook, twitter, instagram, and other outlets as soon as you have an incident at your facility. That is nearly impossible to stop.

                But what about on business owned equipment? From computers, cell phones, tablets, and other such items. If the business owns the instrument, then the business can make, and enforce, rules for using them. And obviously that means the utilization of social media.

                It has been noted that 46% of all breaches of security within a company’s computers and intellectual property came from employees. And a recent court case found a new employee who e-mailed himself thousands of documents and personal information from his work e-mail to a personal one. So it’s not just about posting erroneous items on Facebook.



                The first thing you need to consider is a policy to prohibit such activities at work or on company owned equipment. In this instance you should also get the employee to sign an agreement to that effect. In the event that you are forced to discipline them for violating this policy you have an insurance policy to back you up.

                You may also consider the idea of ‘blocking’ access to those websites from the company devices. There are programs out there in the world that will allow you block any social media site. From Facebook to linkedin to Twitter. This may be a good option to consider. You won’t be able to block personal devices at work, but you can block company owned equipment.

                On one hand, however, you can install devices which will block all incoming/outgoing cellular/Wi-Fi signals within the walls of the facility.


Is it work related?

                Another key question to consider is it necessary for employees to access such social media in the performance of their jobs? In my case, and the case of many businesses, their social media presence is dictated by being available to access them at the office or on company owned devices. From Facebook, twitter, and even linkedin. They are all necessary to keep discussions and visibility in the public eye – which is vital in so many fields of endeavor.


Can you monitor their usage?

                If they are using company equipment, for the most part, you can monitor and regulate what they post, if it is on company time. Again, there are programs out there that will allow you to search for anything posted by employees or about the company with a search. What you do with that information is up to your individual state as to how you can or can’t discipline them. For this you may want to check with your legal department or legal advisor/consultant. But don’t allow them to change the policies into legalese or something that only an attorney can understand.    



                Always check with a corporate attorney for your policy on social media and if it is legal in your state or locality. Ensure that it is not written in legalese and easily understood.

                Another point to consider with this is if it is a blanket policy. Blanket policies can be challenged as discriminatory in so many ways, which is why the legal department needs to be called in AND, again, not written in legalese. And lastly, ensure that your employees read, understand, and sign for that fact.

                They should also know the consequences of using company devices and using them improperly. The younger generations, millennials, don’t necessarily understand why those of us that are older are ‘so uptight’ about those rules.

                Social media can be a wonderful tool for businesses. But if an event happens that is negative, then you’ll have your company, name, and pictures plastered everywhere if you’re not careful. And if you ban the usage of social media for all employees, then you may also encourage a backlash so tread carefully.

                And if you do indeed have an incident of WPV/SV, then you need to get to Facebook, Twitter, instagram, and other innumerable sites to inform people of the truth and not rumor. Remember, employees, students, and others will undoubtedly be on those sites making their own ‘assumptions’ about what happened. And eventually rumors, innuendo, and falsehoods become the truth. And there many instances of urban myths that prove that.


            Clients rely on the 30 years of skills, knowledge, & expertise of Sollars Security Shield to ensure the safety and security of their property and their most important asset’s – their people. He helps these companies to avoid the multi-million dollar lawsuits that can result from a single incident of WPV.

            Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in numerous media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 20 studying, writing, and speaking about WPV/SV.

            Robert uses the 30 years of field experience to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his experience and the news headlines. Let him do this for you as well. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit the website at;’s Training is too Many