HR and Social Media


Social media has taken the business world by storm, and a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management shows that human resource departments have taken the lead in developing policies and procedures for their organizations in dealing with social media.

The survey of businesses that are members of SHRM showed that a little less than half of them had developed some kind of company social media policy, and the same number of organizations also indicated that human resource departments are responsible for developing policies for dealing with social media.

These policies include a code of conduct for employees when they use social media as part of their job, a code of conduct for when employees use social media for personal reasons, guidelines for communicating through social media, and informing employees that the employer has a right to monitor employees’ use of social media.

Other findings of the survey showed that some companies, about one-third, use their marketing departments to oversee the social media communication at the company. Almost one-fifth of the companies reported that they relied on their IT departments to handle the social media outreach.
About 10 percent of the companies reported that they employ a full-time social media director.

About 40 percent of the companies responding to the survey reported that they monitor their employees’ use of social media, and about a third of the companies said they have taken disciplinary measures against employees who have violated their social media policies.

Another recent report has shown that during 2011, growth in employee social media use exploded – increasing about three times that of 2010 — with workers using the networks for both business and personal use. The report, which looked at the social network usage of 1,600 companies, also noted that businesses need to evaluate how their employees are using social media to see how it affects productivity and also to determine if there are any security risks to the companies.

The survey covered companies in North America, Asia and Europe. It showed that the use of Facebook applications alone grew more than three times the levels of 2010. Twitter use increased about seven times that of 2010 levels.

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