Dominic Saunders, Vice President of the NETconsent Business Unit responsible for policy compliance solutions at Cryptzone provides helpful advice to new recruits on their use of social media and email.
There are many business opportunities for those graduates and school leavers able to engage with new technologies and online social tools. However as young people move into the workplace some everyday online practices may be deemed inappropriate by your new employer.
To avoid mistakes that may set your career on the wrong path check your new employer’s email, web usage and social media policies, so you are clear about what is acceptable IT conduct. If you are unsure about the meaning of any of the rules immediately seek guidance from those who are responsible for the policy.
If your organisation does not have a written policy, ask HR to clarify the situation for you. In the meantime exercise good personal judgement and follow our IT etiquette tips to avoid new starter faux pas.
Cryptzone’s tips on social computing etiquette
1. Remember you are employed to work. Your time is not your own, so don’t waste business hours on social media sites and irrelevant surfing on the internet.
2. Be aware that companies frequently monitor email communication and web site usage, so don't say anything through digital media that you would not be comfortable saying face to face to your boss or colleagues.
3. The line between your personal and professional life can become blurred in online social networks. However as soon as you disclose an association with your new employer there is an expectation for you to ensure posted content does not bring that organisation into disrepute.
4. Never disclose business sensitive or confidential information through social media sites or email correspondence with third parties.
5. Avoid using your business email for personal correspondence. You don’t want your friends sending ‘funny’ jokes or massive attachments that risk being blocked.
6. Try not to act on impulse! Your first reaction to communications may not be the most appropriate. Wait at least 10 minutes before firing off your thoughts.
7. It is always worth re-reading any digital content before sending or posting. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Rephrasing content or deleting it completely may be a wiser course of action.
8. Remember once content is in the public domain it is more often than not there forever.
9. Using proper grammar and punctuation is a must. Don't be tempted to abbreviate.
10. Adding emoticons (punctuation marks and letters to express your mood or to convey tone) has become more acceptable in some electronic business correspondence, especially when communicating to people you know reasonably well. However check out what your employer’s stance is.
We all want to be successful in a new job, but early impressions often stick. Don’t jeopardise your position by resorting to former student habits that result in disciplinary action or worse still instant dismissal.