SINGAPORE: More companies are starting to monitor and restrict what employees post online including forums and social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Social media is a double—edged sword. When used correctly, companies can generate valuable publicity and even sales.
But when used inappropriately, it could damage the reputation of companies, or even leak classified information.
According to recruitment agencies like JobsCentral, larger corporations usually issue a detailed social media policy on what employees should not share on social media and this usually includes trade secrets, pay, or personal opinions about the company.
However, local companies do not usually issue such explicit guidelines.
Behaviour on social media tend to be understood as part of the expected decorum of "employee behaviour" stated in human resource handbooks.
To monitor online conversations, most companies use tools like Google Alerts to find out what is being said about their brand.
But others engage third—party IT companies, which send out internet spiders to crawl the major social media and forum sites.
And if the comments posted by staff are not in line with corporate objectives, the company can take legal action.
CEO of JobsCentral, Lim Der Shing, said: "Things that you don’t expect your employees to share in the coffee shop, you also don’t expect them to share online in the social media. If your organisation has a social objective (and if) the person is obviously not in line with the objective of the company, then the company has grounds to at least take some disciplinary action against the employee for damaging the reputation of their brand."
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