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Social Media Safety in the Workplace
By: Richard Weinblatt, EdD
Posted: May 27, 2011, from the June 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Educate employees. Make sure that employees, as well as supervisors, understand what is expected of them as far as social networking conduct within—and when referring to—the workplace. While you’re at it, reinforce sexual harassment-related issues and their relevant consequences, even when they’re taking place in the virtual world.
Team members that bash the workplace online create a troublesome experience for all involved. Although free speech and whistle-blower protections exist, the laws vary from state to state. Employees may not be on as solid footing as originally thought when confronted with disparaging comments they posted online about an employer or a fellow worker. Take steps to reassure them that such online networking etiquette expectations are in place to protect them, as well as the skin care facility.
Take technological precautions. Keep one step ahead of the nefarious forces of the Internet. Continuously update antivirus protection, implement mandatory password changes and make sure strong firewall protections are in place. Web-filtering systems are also available to enable skin care facility owners to restrict access based on a number of different options, including time frame, such as during breaks or lunchtime, or a time limit, such as one hour per day.
Monitor usage. Monitor Internet usage and, in particular, social networking within the workplace. Be sure that team members understand that their computer interaction is being recorded. This oversight is vital as the skin care facility may bear civil or criminal responsibility for some of its staff members’ actions.
The democratization effect of technology has diffused communication channels and put more power in the hands of individuals. Employers need to be properly equipped to address social networking issues in the workplace.