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Monica Wofford, CSP, teaches leaders to understand and improve their own leadership in using practice, skills, and desire as their three areas of focus.

“Social media access for employees can help or hinder your company reputation depending on how the leader manages access.”

Social media access for employees can help or hinder your company reputation depending on how the leader manages access. There’s no question employees have more access now to represent your organization or make it look great or abysmal. Are they saying what you’d like them to and are you providing any parameters on what is shared on social media? Here are some tips to ensure you shine!

Establish Guidelines

Human Resource managers in companies worldwide have long embraced the need to manage the social media access of employees. Some have opted to shut it down completely and later regretted that choice as it spurns employee resentment. Why tell them they can’t use it when it could be a golden opportunity if you simply share some clear guidelines. One leading guideline might be “Exercise good judgment in what you say on social media, to include adherence to our professional conduct and saying only those things you would want published in the company newsletter.” Consider what you want them to do and say and give examples of what is appropriate and what is not, as well as rewards for the customer relationships they build and consequences for any damage to the company reputation.

Enlist Their Guidance

Many organizations are active in social media interaction and they have enlisted the help of the younger team members who know the ropes and the intricacies of all the networks. Have you utilized this talent or merely chastised their seeming consistent connection to their device and sharing of breakfast choices? If the latter has been your MO, consider embracing their gifts in this area. They are uniquely qualified to build relationships in a way that they’ve learned since they arrived on the planet. Connections are made more electronically than they were in years past and complaining about it won’t change a thing. Embrace their guidance and skills in this area and enlist their help.

An employee can commend or complain about your company to thousands of people in the blink of an eye. How you handle this process and access as a leader will either fuel the flame of complaints or foster the desire to share how much they enjoy working there. Give them the freedom to have access and guidelines for the appropriate use of it at the workplace. Even now, more so than ever before, your leadership of this access is contagious as what they say can spread to a population larger than most countries with the simple click of one button.

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