This presentation was given at PRSA Connect 2019, the Employee Communications / Internal Communications conference in Phoenix, AZ.
In 2018-2019, I spent nine months completely reworking the employee social media policies for STCU. This presentation covered why social policies are important, the NLRB standards for policies, and what I discovered through my research makes for effective or ineffective policies.
I also covered the process I went through to get the policies rewritten, which was, in short:
- Identify “promoters” or heavy users of social media within the organization, both officially and not. Talk with that group, a group of individuals who don’t have a lot of familiarity with social media, your HR person or team, and your cohorts in similar industries. Identify a list of examples that are “worst case scenario” situations, questions that have already come up, and how employees would like to or already use social media.
- Review your current policies, and the policies of several other organizations. Compare it to your list of examples, and think through how the policies might address those situations.
- Talk to your leadership team. Bring each of them 3-5 examples of where your current policy (if you have one) may not meet current needs, and that you would like their input on how your examples should be handled within your organization.
- Draft your policy, and share it with both your power users and a few trusted readers in the organization. Draft again and again, then run it through your example situations. And, if you can, talk with your compliance tea, legal team, or risk manager (if you have them).
- Present it to your leadership team, again referencing examples of real-world situations.
- Pass the policy through a legal review. Even if you don’t have a legal department, pay an employment lawyer to review the policy to ensure it is enforceable and legal.
- Then roll it out, using whatever great employee communications processes you have in place!
- Pew Research Center, Social Media and the Workplace
- Sprout Social 2018 Social Index
- World Economic Forum and hiring statistics are available on the social media & online reputation statistics megathread.
- National Labor Relations Board interpretation by Social Media Law Bulletin.