Love it or loathe it, social media is here to stay and it can be beneficial if used in the right way.  This blog will outline why you should have a social media policy. What you should consider when writing one. Where to go to get a bespoke social media policy written for you.  The benefits of social media and  the steps to take to protect your nursery.

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Many employers find it difficult to manage employees whom they feel have not behaved in the right way when using social media. Common problems are:-

  1. Employees spending too much time on the internet or social media sites in work time
  2. Inappropriate posts on a social media site such as Facebook. These can include rants about work and/or colleagues, disclosure of sensitive information etc.
  3. Parent / Customer complaints

Having a social media policy will allow you to manage these issues much more proactively and effectively as well as help to protect your nursery against liability for the actions of your employees.

So you need a social media policy:  Firstly The Nursery HR People can draw one up for you, taking into account your specific nursery requirements safe in the knowledge that you will have a fully compliant, easy to follow policy. One which  meets your obligations under your Safeguarding procedure and is approved by Ofsted.

However if you want write your own social media policy then you will need to give careful consideration to the following areas: –

  1. Safeguarding
  2. Responsibilities – Employee, Management, Parent/Carer
  3. Management guidelines – how are you going to implement the policy
  4. Sensitive information – this needs to be defined and consequences outlined
  5. Distinction between personal and business usage
  6. Data protection
  7. Link to your bullying and harassment policy
  8. Communication of the policy
  9. How often the policy will be reviewed and by whom?

I cannot emphasise enough how important communication is once you have drawn up your social media policy.  I advise that you spend time with your employees explaining why there is a need for the policy, going through the policy with them to ensure that they understand their responsibilities and they are given the opportunity to have any questions answered. It is also important your employees sign the policy to confirm they have read and understood it.

Due to the nature of your business the consequences of failing to follow the policy should also be covered with all employees.  The consequences may be personal in terms of disciplinary action but may also have dire consequences for the nursery if sensitive information about the business or children in the nursery’s care is shared.

There are a few questions/points that you may want to consider when drawing up the policy:-

  1. Are employees allowed to ‘friend’ parents on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc?
  2. Will you limit / block social media access on office computers?
  3. If you allow personal use of emails / internet – set boundaries
  4. If employees are blogging / tweeting etc about the nursery then set guidelines as to what is / is not allowed
  5. Are parents / carers allowed to use their phone on the premises?
  6. Are mobile phones allowed during the working day?
  7. If mobile phones are not allowed to be used, then where will they be stored?
  8. Remind your employees to check their privacy settings regularly
  9. What will the consequences of breaching the social media policy be?
  10. How will you communicate the policy?
  11. Are there any additional requirements from Ofsted that need to be adhered to?

As we have mentioned social media is here to stay, so don’t be afraid of it, just be aware of the possible risks and put measures in place to limit these risks.  There are many benefits of using social media and your business can really benefit from you using this in the right way. A few examples are listed below:-

  1. Personalise your nursery and show parents why they should choose your nursery
  2. Great way to advertise open days, special events and news
  3. Important additional tool to engage parents and future parents
  4. Share best practice with other nurseries
  5. Attract new employees

I hope this article has been of help and provides you with all of the necessary information you require when introducing a social media policy to the workplace

I would be delighted to receive any feedback you might have.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.

Ruth Lewin

Director

The Nursery HR People

ruth@thenurseryhrpeople.co.uk

www.thenurseryhrpeople.co.uk

01509 833121

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