Should you monitor employees' social media activities?


Your goal of improving workplace productivity may be noble, but team members might interpret social media monitoring as a lack of trust on your part.

If you’re like most social media users, you know how easy it is to lose track of time while you browse. You might log in to Facebook just to update your profile, but before you know it, you’re clicking through hundreds of photos from your cousin’s friend’s sister’s vacation.

Your employees are not immune to such time-killing browsing. So while it may be tempting for you to want to monitor the social media activities of your employees, a Kansas State University business ethics expert says the practice can be a double-edge sword. Experts agree that businesses need to protect their reputations, but they say in terms of employees’ rights, the practice coexists uneasily with the expectation of personal privacy.

Using social networking monitoring could create considerable changes in employee communication. Such monitoring could potentially create a climate of fear and distrust in your veterinary practice. These effects could be detrimental to morale and hurt productivity.

To prevent such a situation, experts recommend that you craft policies and provide expectations of employee’s online conduct. This would shift the emphasis from monitoring to creating shared understanding between employers and employees. You should also provide full disclosure of your monitoring practices and the consequences employees would face if they violate the policy and hurt your practice’s reputation.

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