HR departments must address social media in the workplace

Social media relationships between managers and employees must be handled with careful consideration.

Social media relationships between managers and employees must be handled with careful consideration.

With the rise of social media, it has become important for HR departments to pay attention to this aspect of the workplace and how it may be affecting employee relationships as well as relationships between employees and management. 

Although social media may be able to improve communications in a number of ways, it also has the potential to carry effects that could be damaging to a company. For example, according to an article in Business Management Daily, 81 percent of those who responded to a survey on whether or not employees should "friend" bosses said that it was not a good idea. 

The article goes on to offer the suggestion that a boss should not become social media friends with their employees either as it could lead to a number of issues. For example, it is important that managers do not "play favorites," but having this type of relationship on social media may lead to such behavior. Additionally, it could expose managers to information they did not need to know about an employee, such as if they have been making complaints about the company online, which may be protected under federal labor law. 

In the event that social media issues arise between bosses and employees, there are steps that HR can take to mitigate problems. In some cases it might mean outlining a specific policy to handle the issue. For some companies, the most appropriate solution may be to prohibit it. The solution will depend on the specific needs of your company. 

Social media is an aspect of the workplace that HR must prepare to handle carefully. HR software solutions can help mange the details.