Social Media for HR - Creating an Effective Policy


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The Social Workplace / Verizon presentation on creating a Social Media Policy from an HR perspective. Presented at The Conference Board's seminar on Social Media and HR on April 13, 2011.

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  • This presentation offers very comprehensive coverage about the impact of social media usage on organizations, and wisely strikes a balance between control and trust. Again, Elizabeth proves her thorough knowledge in this area of Social Business. I'm a big fan!
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  • Isardonia -- thanks so much for your feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed the presentation. Best, Elizabeth @socialworkplace
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  • Elizabeth: thank you once again for an informative update. Your point about differentiating personal vs business identities is important. This is the 'gray area' that is confusing for employees, could lead to inappropriate posts that expose the employee to discipline or the company to liability, and is a risk that might be avoided if addressed by policy provisions, usage guidelines and/or training.
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Social Media for HR - Creating an Effective Policy

  1. 1. Social Media Policy: Finding a Balance<br />Elizabeth LupferSenior Manager, Employee Experience and Web Technology, Verizon<br />1<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />
  2. 2. Are You Your Boss’s Friend?<br />of Americans say it is irresponsible to be friends with a boss<br />56%<br />62%<br />say<br />it is wrong to be friends with an employee<br />About the Survey: The “Social Media and Personal Responsibility Survey” was fielded for Liberty Mutual and The Responsibility Project between January 12-15, 2010, reaching 1,000 adults nationwide. <br />2<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />
  3. 3. Differences in Opinion<br />of executives say they have a right to know how employees portray themselves and their organizations<br />60%<br />53%<br /> of employees say their<br /> social networking pages are not an employer's concern<br />About the survey: Was conducted by HR BLR (Business and Legal Resources ) and included more than 2,000 respondents.<br />3<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />
  4. 4. 17% disciplined an employee for violating blog or message board policies<br />81% believe social media poses a corporate security risk<br />15% have disciplined an employee for violating multimedia sharing/ posting policies<br />13% of U.S. companies investigated an exposure event involving mobile or Web-based short message services (Twitter)<br />There are many to reasons to say…<br />4<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />
  5. 5. Is Blocking Access the Answer?<br />5<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />More than 50% of companies block access to one or more sites, including Twitter and Facebook. (Robert Half)<br />Only 19% allow access for business purposes.<br />35% of recruiters and hiring manager are blocked from social media sites. (CareerXroads)<br />
  6. 6. But Does Saying No Really Work?<br />Employees have their own access via smart phones during the work day.<br />You may want employees to use some social networking tools for valid business reasons<br />Social media doesn’t stop at the end of the work day. What happens outside of work can create just as much concern. <br />95% of employees use at least one personally purchased device for work. <br />Employees use an average of FOUR consumer devices a day.<br />6<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />
  7. 7. There is Always a Risk…<br />Loss in productivity<br />You discover one of your employees has been spending as much as 85% of the day on social networking sites <br />An R&D employee complains on Facebook that he has to cancel weekend plans due to a project delay. His connections associate this with a highly anticipated product launch, and the company’s stock price declines.<br />A salesperson posts a derogatory comment on Twitter about a prospective client’s headquarters city as he lands there the day before a critical presentation. Someone forwards the tweet to the CEO, who cancels the meeting.<br />Information Leaks<br />Customer(non)management<br />7<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />
  8. 8. … But There is Also Reward<br />At the end of an employee charitable contribution initiative, a team leader posts a ”Great Job” message on his personal Facebook page. Employees who see the message have a reinforced feeling of how their coworkers and the company contribute to the community.<br />An employee with a critical but hard-to-find skillset learns of another opening in her department and uses her LinkedIn contacts to broadcast the opportunity to many others with that skill-set.<br />Social media sites are becoming the most effective channels for sharing sustainability goals and strategies with employees, and employers that encouraged the use of social media are twice as likely to be rated very effective in their engagement than employers who don’t.<br />Peer / Brand Recognition<br />EmployeeReferrals<br />InternalCommunications<br />8<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />
  9. 9. Do You have a Social Media Policy?<br />31%<br />of companies have a written Social Media Policy<br />10%<br />have<br />conducted employee training on it.<br />A national survey conducted by Russell Herder and Ethos Business Law, which assessed social media workplace trends and adoption of policies governing social media.<br />9<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />
  10. 10. In an ideal world, any incident would be coveredby a policy reading, <br />“For gosh sakes, people, use your heads!” <br />But behavior is easier to legislate than common sense,which means crafting policies that rein inhow employees may use technology on the job.<br />10<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />
  11. 11. Why You Need a Social Media Policy<br />Increasing usage means there is a lot of social media overlap between professional and personal lives<br />Employees don’t realize they owe you a duty of loyalty when they’re off the clock<br />Employees don’t understand the nature of social media<br />Employees need guidelines on what is acceptable and what is not<br />Employers need guidelines, too<br />11<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />
  12. 12. What Situations Do You Face?<br />Can recruiters use Facebook or Twitter for recruiting purposes – what is fair game, what isn’t?<br />Can managers demand access to password-protected sites created by employees on external blog?<br />Is it appropriate to use Facebook or Twitter as a means to screen employees?<br />Can a supervisor give a recommendation for an employee (past or present) on LinkedIn?<br />12<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />
  13. 13. 95 percent of information workers use at least one personally purchased device for work, according to a study by IDC/Unisys. The average number of consumer devices used for business by workers in a day? Four.<br />13<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />Time to Wake Up, HR!<br />Only 20% of policies are written by HR. But 100% of them will sooner or later involve HR.<br />
  14. 14. Elements of an Effective Policy<br />Creates a culture of trust and emphasizes employee ownership of social media responsibilities.<br />Aligns with your other company policies.<br />Protects the interests of BOTH the organization and the employee.<br />Stresses importance of company loyalty during and after core business hours.<br />Includes guidelines on the company’s stand on using personal devices for business-related matters.<br />Reviews company policy on usage, the impact of personal usage and what that entails.<br />14<br />
  15. 15. Elements of an Effective Policy<br />Differentiates use of internal-facing social networking sites from external-facing ones.<br />Lists all corporate branded profiles, and who is authorized to speak on the company’s behalf.<br />Has been adapted for those who are authorized to social network during business hours from those who aren’t. (marketing, human resources) <br />States that employees must use professional judgment (common sense) where no policy or guidelines exist.<br />Explains how even the most innocent of remarks can influence share price, and the ramifications of doing so.<br />Explains consequences for violations.<br />15<br />
  16. 16. We have a Policy… Now What?<br />Update your policy annually.<br />Include in your onboarding process.<br />Consider having employees re-acknowledge their understanding of the policy every 60 – 90 days.<br />Train and educate on how to comply with your policy, adapting your training for your audience as appropriate.<br />Teach employees to differentiate their personal identity from their business identity.<br />16<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />
  17. 17. Final Thoughts<br />To have a policy is not the same as to police.<br />Risk is unavoidable, but can be managed. Employees are loose cannons, right? They could ust say anything. Or not.<br />Treat your employees like the adults. Set expectations of what “proper” communication looks like for your company regardless of the medium used. <br />17<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />
  18. 18. Stop asking how to keep employees from using social media and start figuring out how to integrate them into your work cultures as tools used for the greater good.<br />18<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />
  19. 19. References<br />Social Media and Personal Responsibility Survey, Liberty Mutual and The Responsibility Project <br />Most Execs Concerned About Employee Facebook Activities, HR BLR<br />Employee Engagement Survey Report, Brighter Planet<br />Whistle – but don’t Tweet – While You Work, Robert Half Technology <br />9th Annual Sources of Hire Study, CareerXroads<br />Social Media: Embracing the Opportunities, Averting the Risks Webinar Presentation, Russell Herder and Ethos Law<br />8 in 10 Execs Fearful of SocNet Risks, Marketing Charts<br />How to Draft a Social Networking Company Policy, The HR Specialist<br />Why You Need a Social Media Policy, J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.<br />You Need a Social Networking Policy Now, HR Daily Advisor<br />Social Media: Risk or Reward – What Can HR Do?, Strategic HR Inc.<br />HR Ringleader blog, HR Director Trish McFarlane<br />Transparency - The Double-Edged Sword, Acando Consulting<br />19<br />Social Media Policy – Finding a Balance<br />