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Social media policy

Last reviewed on 13 February 2018

Most of us will use social media in our personal lives, and increasingly our professional ones too. In fact, social media is a great tool for connecting with our customers, members and fellow colleagues to share the great products and services we have to offer. We’ve also got a set of social media principles that we ask everyone engaging with us on social media to use.

Crucial bits

We all need to be responsible about what we put on social media. Even on our personal accounts, and in our private time. Whatever your privacy settings, what you post on social media is never really private. This is particularly important if your profile includes that you work for the Co-op, or people you’re connected with would know that.

It might go without saying, but if you post comments or images on social media that people could view as offensive, discriminatory, bullying or threatening, we’ll deal with it as we would if you’d done it at work. This means we may follow the disciplinary process. This is also true if you’ve ‘liked’ or shared something someone else has posted. If you wouldn’t say it or behave like that in work, don’t do it online. We may ask you to remove online content that’s not in line with this policy.

You also need to be careful not to share business information about the Co-op online. At the extreme end, this includes sharing commercially sensitive information, personal data or confidential information or making comments/posts that could damage our Co-op brand or reputation.

Just remember that you still need to follow our other policies when you’re posting things online. Take a look on the Co-op Intranet or ask your manager for a copy of the Co-op’s Acceptable Use of Technology Policy, Bullying and Harassment/Respect Policy, Data Protection Policy and Information Security Policies or the Information Risk Policy for colleagues in Insurance, to make sure your social media posts are in line with what’s acceptable at Co-op.

That’s not to say you can’t express your personal views online, just do so respectfully. And if you’re commenting on something that the Co-op has an interest in, then just make it clear that your opinion is your own and you’re not speaking on behalf of the Co-op.

Just so everyone’s clear, any breach of this policy may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including summary dismissal.

Things to think about

If you’re using social media as part of your job, or you’re responsible for an official Co-op social media account, then there’s extra social media resources on the Intranet to help you. If you work in Food, there’s also guidance for using WhatsApp for work. Again, if you’re unable to access these, just ask your manager for a copy.

If you’ve got a concern or complaint about work, we want you to tell us and not to put it on social media. Speak to your manager or follow the Whistleblowing Policy or Grievance Process.

If you’ve got a question and want to ask us directly, you can contact us on colleague Facebook or direct message us on Twitter at @coopuk.

We all make mistakes, so if you think you’ve posted something you shouldn’t have, let us know as soon as possible so we can get it sorted.

If you need further support

If you’ve seen posts that contain inappropriate comments or images, contact the Social Media Team social@coop.co.uk or in Private Message or Direct Message on Facebook or Twitter.

If managers need advice about dealing with issues involving social media they should contact ER Services.