Business Benefits Group is committed to maintaining a good relationship with its employees and the marketplace. The way the public views Business Benefits Group is vital to maintaining business, gaining new business, retaining first-class employees, recruiting new employees and marketing our products and services.
While Business Benefits Group has no intention of controlling employee actions outside of work, employees should practice caution and use discretion when posting content on the Web. Employees have the right to use social media for personal expression on their own time, and Business Benefits Group will not violate employee privacy by attempting to access content that has not been made available publicly. This policy serves as a notice on the practice of social networking for all employees to read and understand. As more concerns develop and legislation is released, this policy is subject to change
The purpose of this policy is to:
o To guarantee a constructive relationship between the company and its employees
o To manage risk and preserve Business Benefits Group’s positive reputation
o To discourage the use of company time for personal social media activities
o To promote awareness among employees of the number of individuals who can access information presented on social networking sites
Social networking and social media refer to any activity that involves interaction in online communities. This interaction includes, but is not limited to, browsing profiles and photos, reading messages sent through social networking forums and participating in instant messaging services.
A social networking site is any website that links individuals electronically and provides a forum where users can connect and share information. These websites can be tailored to specific interests or to certain types of users. Examples of popular social networking sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr, Friendster, Classmates.com, LinkedIn, Xanga and Bebo. The list of social networking sites is constantly growing and changing because of the nature of the Web.
A social networking profile is a user’s personalized page within a specific social networking site, usually containing personal information such as name, birthday, photo and interests.
Micro-blogging is the practice of publishing your recent whereabouts, thoughts or activities on a social networking site for other users to see. While not all social networking sites use micro-blogging, this is a primary focus of sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Business purposes is considered using a social networking site for the company’s gain, usually as a task or assignment given by a manager or supervisor. This can be done either through a specific company account on a given social networking site or through a personal account set up for the purposes of recruiting or marketing for Business Benefits Group.
The term Working Hours includes any time employees are being paid to conduct company business. Standard working hours are from (insert hour) to (insert hour), Monday through Friday. This timeframe may vary based on job type and responsibilities.
It is important that employees use their time while at work to conduct company business. Employees are not blocked from access to social networking sites on Business Benefits Group computers because, under some circumstances, social networking is a powerful business tool that can be channeled to gain positive publicity for the company and to connect with clients. However, access to such websites does not mean they can be used at any time. The following actions are prohibited during working hours:
o Using social networking sites to conduct personal or non-company business
o Browsing social networking sites for non-company business on company time
o Reading email alerts regarding personal social networking account activity or using Business Benefits Group email to correspond with personal social networking contacts
o Updating information, uploading photos or otherwise engaging with one’s personal social networking profile for non-business purposes
o Micro-blogging for a non-business purpose on a social networking site throughout the day, whether it is on a company-provided computer or a personal smart phone device
It is important that employees use their time at work for business purposes. Employees are not blocked from access to social networking sites on Business Benefits Group computers because, under some circumstances, social networking is a powerful business tool that can be channeled to gain positive publicity for the company and to connect with clients. However, access to such websites should follow company policy. The following actions are prohibited during working hours:
o Using social networking sites to conduct personal or non-company business with a company computer or device.
o Browsing social networking sites for non-company business on company time with a company computer or device.
o Reading e-mail alerts regarding personal social networking account activity or using Business Benefits Group e-mail to correspond with personal social networking contacts.
o Updating information, uploading photos or otherwise engaging with one’s personal social networking profile for non-business purposes with a company computer or device.
o Micro-blogging for a non-business purpose on a social networking site throughout the day, whether it is on a company-provided computer.
Having your own individual social networking account and using it on your own time is certainly permissible. However, keep in mind that some actions on your personal site are visible for the entire social networking community and may no longer be considered private matters. Business Benefits Group has put it in place a set of conduct guidelines to protect its brand and prevent the unwanted disclosure of confidential information. Please follow these guidelines:
o Do not use micro-blogging features to disclose trade secrets, publish internal reports, provide tips based on inside information or participate in other activities that may be considered insider trading.
o We urge you to consider resolving workplace grievances internally. If you choose to address a grievance using social media, refrain from posting comments and materials that could be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening, intimidating or that could create a hostile environment on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion or any other status protected by law.
o Refrain from posting any opprobrious, reckless or maliciously untrue comments. These communications may not be protected by law.
o Do not impersonate Business Benefits Group or its employees, make statements on behalf of Business Benefits Group without authorization, or make statements that can be construed as establishing Business Benefits Group’s official position or policy on any particular issue.
As stated above, the purpose of this policy is to protect Business Benefits Group’s brand and prevent the disclosure of confidential information. It is not Business Benefits Group’s intent to interfere with its employees’ legal rights. Whenever state or federal law govern an area of social media participation, Business Benefits Group policies should be interpreted as to comply with them.