With the advent of the internet, computers, and smartphones, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat are booming.
Even though the average age of social media users is 18–24 years old, adults above the age of 25 are also active users of social media.
If your company has a significant number of employees with social media accounts, should you be tracking their posts and messages?
There are a number of ethical and legal dogmas to consider when making the decision to monitor employees’ social media activity.
Let’s consider the argument from all sides and perspectives.
Reasons Employers Should Monitor Employees’ Social Media Posts
Sometimes, social media can be used as a way to rant and purge negative thoughts. If the employee says the wrong thing about the workplace or discloses sensitive information about the company, the firm will suffer.
Monitoring social media activity significantly decreases the chances of employees sharing offensive allegations against the company that might put their reputation at stake.
Impact on Work
Social media can be a distraction. It negatively impacts the efficiency and the work output of employees.
Spending a significant amount of time on social media while on company time needs to be discouraged.
This is possible only if the company keeps a watchful eye on their employee’s daily activities.
Reasons Employers Should NOT Monitor Employees’ Social Media Posts
Instead of discouraging employees, take advantage of their social media reach to advertise the company and essentially get free PR.
Avoid monitoring their social media accounts and instead, encourage them to talk about the company, its products, and services and spread good reviews in their friend circle.
Loss of Trust
As a personal social media account is private, it doesn’t bode well for employers to spy on their employees in their off-time.
Most employees use social media after office hours and feel like it’s a high breach of privacy for companies to keep an eye on their online activities.
Unless the social media monitoring is strictly and explicitly disclosed, the loss of trust between the employers and employees could ignite more flames into an already tempestuous relationship.
Establish Official Company Social Media Policy
To avoid unnecessary legal drama, protect your company by disclosing an official social media policy.
Before hiring a new employee, inform them about company rules against using social media for back mouthing your firm.
Make sure to notify the employees about monitoring and tracking employee activity on work-issued computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
For more streamlined social media monitoring, invest in a spy phone app to track what your employees are sharing and posting with company-issued devices.