IT Business Edge editor Lora Bentley recently spoke with attorney Mitzi Wyrick of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, a Louisville, Ky. law firm, about the need for companies to clearly enforce and communicate their social networking policies.
Wyrick says enforcement doesn't necessarily mean hiring someone to monitor every move an employee makes on Twitter and Facebook. Enforcement in this case means consistently addressing the situation once you are made aware that a violation has occurred. (I imagine most violations are reported by someone who was offended by the post or by another employee.)
With regards to communication, Wyrick says to post the policy in break rooms, put them in your handbook, distribute them separately, and have employees sign for them to show that they actually got them. She also notes to send them electronically to employees, but only as a supplement to an actual hard copy. "Without that," she says, "you risk an employee saying, 'I didn't know we had this policy. Why are you disciplining me?'"
For those looking for resources to help them concoct a company policy, check out these tools in the Knowledge Network.