Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, has identified the need for a social media policy as key to realising a more engaged workforce.

He made this observation while addressing the opening ceremony of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Southern Region Tour Conference under the theme: Employment Engagement in the Digital Age. It was held at Hilton Barbados recently.

Mr. Sealy said: ???Such a policy must be crafted as it needs to balance the employees??? right to privacy with the employers??? expectations that private matters take second place to the exigencies of the workplace. The social media is a powerful tool for improving an entity???s exposure to client base and other ways of disseminating information and it is critical to improving the company???s operations.

But, at the same time, it can be a wholly destructive entity by way of just being completely distracting, and so, we need to have the appropriate workplace policy.???

Admitting that implementing a social media policy would ???not be the easiest thing to implement???, he said there was a role for creative business communications such as those within the IABC to assist with its design.

???A forum such as this is appropriate where we can share each other???s experiences on how to do it [communicate] more effectively,??? he added.

Minister Sealy said the benefits of an engaged workforce would be far reaching and pointed out that the more engaged employees were ???usually the ones who genuinely believe that they can make a more meaningful contribution to organisations???.

???Businesses that successfully reach their goals are likely to see significant improvement in performance, a rise in profits and greater ability to attract and retain the best employees,??? he stressed.

Mr. Sealy said this could be achieved through adequate training, involving employees at all levels of the decision making process to obtain their buy-in for the achievement of the company???s objectives.

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