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The modern workplace has changed. Employees are often online and connected to the rest of the world in the workplace, especially since a large part of office work now requires online connectivity. It is the responsibility of employers to define what the acceptable behaviors are related to social media at work. The Do’s and Don’ts below can serve as good starting points.
Have a clear social media company policy in place.
Inform employees about the Do’s and Don’ts of social media use. Be clear about what is acceptable and unacceptable conduct and where the company stands on such behavior. Advise them on privacy expectations, and ensure that the company expectations are clear and understandable. If employees know and understand what the expectations are, they will be less likely to violate them.
Provide for a company-approved social media platform exclusive for company use.
Companies now know that having an online presence is crucial to survival in the digital age. Having an exclusive online identity, such as a company page on Facebook or Twitter, allows the company to regulate official content and communication that goes out to the world, separate from unofficial information produced by employees through their own social media channels. This is one way to avoid unsuitable third-party comments and social media behavior that could open the company to liability.
Require employees to disclaim personal views as such on social media.
To a certain extent, employees will be associated with the companies they work for. For this reason, it is important to require employees to disclaim their views as personal when posting in social media. This is very important especially when sensitive, sexually offensive topics, and personal or discriminatory language is used.
Don’t allow employees to communicate with clients through their personal social media pages.
Official communication when done online must only be done through the company’s social media page or email. Doing otherwise is unprofessional and exposes the business to a wide array of security and public relations risks.
Avoid vague and subjected terms when crafting your social media policy.
While it is clear that employees should never use discriminatory or obscene language when communicating in social media, it is important to define what these terms are. Provide examples and describe prohibited conduct to ensure a full understanding of what’s allowed and what’s not.
Having clear social media guidelines is beneficial and necessary for any company.
This is true whether you are a big company or a small start-up. Clear rules on social media behavior are one way to protect your company’s reputation, ensure that employees don’t violate social media rules and establish your credibility among peers and competitors.