Whether you're in the IT, finance, or HR departments of any company, chances are high that your team is using some form of social media to collaborate on projects.
While internal social media platforms may boost employee engagement, knowledge sharing, and day-to-day decision-making, they also pose a variety of hazards in compliance and litigation that are often neglected.
The following are some potential dangers you should be aware of before implementing internal social media in your business, along with suggestions for coping with such dangers.
1. Regulatory compliance
Nearly every company will face at least one regulation (or many) that requires it to keep certain records and documents.
Many internal social media tools allow you to archive your communications, and some companies even offer built-in document management options, but any permanent storage of your communications can be problematic.
If you must archive your communications, be thoughtful in regard to how long the records should be kept.
While a 14-day retention period may be sufficient under normal circumstances, consider the possibility that future regulations may require you to keep your communications for much longer.
2. Data breaches
Even if your company hasn't run into any data breaches in the past, the possibility is always present.
If an employee posts confidential information on your company's platform, that data can be misused by hackers or any other parties.
Consider having a social media policy in place that outlines how your employees can use social media safely, and what kind of data they can and can't post.
Again, your company's internal procedures will be crucial in ensuring that such sensitive material is not leaked via internal social media. Understanding how technology may assist in recording discussions is also crucial.
In this case, as well, keyword monitoring may be tremendous assistance by alerting you whenever such content is posted on your platform and then reporting it for removal.
3. Privacy issues
Privacy issues may arise when employees post confidential information or images. Employees may also disclose proprietary information or trade secrets on company platforms.
To avoid privacy issues, make sure you don't post confidential or proprietary information on your company's social media. It's not enough just to let your employees know that what they post is confidential, you must enforce it.
The first step for any company that wants to decrease the possibility of personal data being shared (and exposed) in this manner is to clearly define policies surrounding the acceptable and anticipated use of these platforms.
Schedule frequent obligatory training to keep teams up to speed on internal rules and reminded them of the significance of these safeguards, and make sure that your staff is never confused about the proper use of these resources.
4. Harassment and bullying
No matter what type of company you work for, you'll always be dealing with minor disagreements, personality conflicts, and misunderstandings.
It's not uncommon for employees to post harassing or bullying content online, making it necessary for you to monitor such activity.
While you can't always prevent your employees from posting such content, you can take steps to manage it.
In addition to having in place a social media policy, you can communicate your expectations to your employees.
You can establish consequences for any posts that are deemed inappropriate.
If an employee posts anything on social media that could be considered libelous, slanderous, defamatory, infringing, or in violation of any other law, you could find yourself in an unfavorable situation.
If you're sued, your social media policy will be your defense.
Social media policies should cover every aspect of an employee's activity, including what type of posts are allowed and what type of posts are prohibited.
You'll need to clearly outline the consequences of engaging in any activity that violates your social media policy.
You should invest in archiving software that adds digital signatures and timestamps to all your online data to assure its validity and integrity, which is essential for safeguarding your employees and presenting the valuable resource that internal social media might offer as a genuine.
6. Reputation management
Even if your company's social media policy is well-established, your employees may still engage in activity that damages your business.
Employees may post content that reflects unfavorably on your business, such as negative comments about the company, its products, or its employees.
While you can't control what your employees post on social media, you can respond appropriately when they post defamatory content.
Additionally, your company's social media policy should address how to manage negative posts.
Internal social media platforms are powerful tools for boosting employee engagement, improving collaboration, and boosting productivity.
However, those same tools can also be used to damage your business.
By establishing a strong social media policy that outlines the company's expectations, you can prevent employees from making mistakes that cost your company revenue, clients, or employees.