Social Media Policy in the Work Place: Adidas

Social media in the workplace and the classroom are a highly controversial topic with many opportunities to keep up with national news, company news and a platform to share within the company. However, companies need to be more clear than ever on the expectations of employee’s social media presence during company time and also as a representation of their employees.

The ethical issues of social media use in the workplace is that employees could be using company time distracted on social media. This can effect productivity and also be controversial if employees post items that do not reflect the values of the company.

For example, Adidas Group Social Media Guidelines ask employees to: identify themselves, be personally responsible, use common sense, do not leak confidential information, do not talk about work related legal matters, respect the audience, know the consequences, be the first to respond to your mistakes, respect copyrights, cite referenced and remember that you are an employee and need to be aware of actions and continue to work your daily job.

This is a great and clear social media plan for a company with such passionate employees who also act as brand ambassadors. However, this social media policy would not be conducive with a company such as Chase Bank, where there is a much higher confidentiality obligation to members.

Also, for a company that needs to keep information dissemination consistent in different time zones is the potential for a person to accidentally release information before they are allowed to. This could cause angry Adidas supporters and could alter the social media policy in the future.

The legal implications of social media in the work place is the issue of releasing important information that can hurt the company. In Adidas policy it says, “Stay away from discussing financial topics and predictions of future performance at all costs.”

From analyzing Adidas, I have learned that it is important to create a clear and consistent social media policy that directly relates to the company values. I also think it is made to give employees guidance not to restrict them. There is still a lot of creative freedom while avoiding any potential for confusion of in worst case scenario, disaster.