Mischief or media magic? How to handle your social media savvy employees.

February 27, 2017

At HR180 we encourage our HR Managers and Assistants to use social media and share their opinions. We trust them to keep within our Social Media guidelines. Here’s our HR Manager Becky Mee’s thoughts on why she loves a certain blogger, plus some of the issues posting on social media can bring to your business – and in true HR180 style, how you can introduce guidance through an Employee Social Media Policy.

by Becky Mee

Emplpoyee Social Media Policy HR180

I follow a blog on Facebook which brings a lot of joy to my day. It follows the life of a northern working mum through her daily trials and tribulations, her love of running and need to self-medicate with sales shopping and alcohol. For various reasons, I won’t name the blog but reading it last week made me pause and being the sad person that I am, wonder what her manager makes of her blog and antics?

Whilst I’m sure they are thoroughly supportive and chuckle at the ‘Names have been changed’ approach, it did then make my gin dulled brain ponder…

Personal blogs under assumed names are becoming increasingly popular on social media as people experiment with their ‘brand me’. Blogging has come a long way from the original concept of a diary-like post on a web page, but as with all social media there is a fine line between work and social life as our online presence continues to blur the boundaries.

So, if you or one of your team have a similar blog or are thinking of setting one up, what would you need to consider?

  • What will the blog be about? Is there an overlap between work and social in it at all? If there is, do you need to let your employer know about the blog?
  • If your blog is personal, be careful not to make it look like you are representing the company. This could be classed as falsely representing the company which could get you into real hot water!
  • What are the tone and content like? If you can be identified through the blog as working for your company, this could put the company in a bad light which is the last thing you want to do.
  • If the blog grows legs and leads to the heady world of personal appearances or being asked to promote products, you may need to make sure this doesn’t present a conflict of interest with your day job. Talk to your manager as your contract may require you to have written permission from your employer to pursue a venture that may conflict with your main employment.
  • If you are earning additional income through your blog, do you need to let the dreaded tax man know? Could there be tax and NI implications…. Yes, I know I’m a party pooper!

Still thinking of starting that blog? Hope I haven’t put you off! Well, I’m now off for a coffee and the next instalment of mischief!

If you need advice on making sure there isn’t a conflict or risk to your business with alternative ventures your employees may be getting up to outside of work, give us a call today!

Leeds based HR180 is a team of superheroes in HR Outsourcing, Projects and Consultancy committed to work in partnership with organisations of all sizes to establish working policies to go above and beyond Employment Law requirements, to protect both employees and employers alike. We love to hear from you, so call us on 0113 287 8150 or hit the Rescue Me button.

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