Policy Presumptions.

If you are an employee in either fulltime or contracted work then it is likely you have signed a contract of employment.

That contract will, in an ideal world,  detail what you agree to provide the company and in return what the company will provide you. It should point you in the direction of the variety of policies and procedures on which the company is standardised.

From experience these procedures now include such gems as

  • telephone and/or facsimile usage
  • use of the photocopier
  • use of email
  • use of the internet
  • complaints procedures

I wonder then at what point the HR departments will dip into the boundaries of employee/employer relationships to attempt to outline Social Media and Social Network utilisation ?

The growth of SoMe ( Social media )  in business has followed the same curve as Email  and Internet Access has.Corporations are attempting to bestow some level of control over an employees access to , or time wasting actions of, those tools.

Some might argue that SoMe is not a tool and that it is a different beast to Email or the Internet and that with policies currently in place for internet access within the work place that this is ground already covered.

Thanks though to the growing success of mobile broadband internet access and  services like Lifecast and Qik employees can sidestep firewalls, and control policies laid down by IT administrators and can access sites and  content directly.

Which leads me to wonder where the conversation is occuring in respect  to  what companies  will be setting as employment policies to control staff who blog, photograph , Qik or livecast any amount of ideas, commentary or video media direct from their phones ?

A quick google for the terms around social media and HR or employment law clearly takes us back to the current Fear , Uncertainty and Douby stories in regards to how HR departments are using Social Networks to dig into the backgrounds of their potential employees.  Where are the articles , the blogs, the twitter comments in which HR departments and recruitment agencies demonstrate a positive and educated response to the arrival of Social Media in the workplace ?

I look forward to you feedback,links and responses.

Thanks for reading.

Share This

4 Comments on “Policy Presumptions.

  1. Nik,

    I think that you’re in danger of confusing two things. The “contract” and the “enforcement.”

    The “contract” is what policies and HR department do.

    The “enforcement” is a lot of what the firewalls do.

    Most companies nowadays have a policy about what employees may and may not do… and little expectation that a “but the firewall let me get to that site” defence would work if problems occured.

    If you can explain the material difference between the following are, I’ll allow Social Media as “different”.

    – Phoning up a client and accusing them of X
    – Email a client and accusing them of X
    – Posting on Facebook that a client has done X

    However, I can’t help feel that there’s nothing new under the sun – I remember a company I was working for making the DRAMATIC MOVE to allow employees to make external phone calls directly (rather than request that the switchboard staff set them up, giving project code)… I likewise remember the DRAMATIC MOVE that allowed staff to have email accounts… now I see the DRAMATIC move that, erm, actually about 8 years ago, allowed them to generate content rather than solely consume it.

    My own company’s policy is broad – treat employees as professionals, let them interact on the web as they see fit, provided they don’t say things that are either false or commercial-in-confidence.

  2. Mark I will be the first to put my hand up and say the terms and definitions which define this particular arena. I am interested to hear the differences of view on this.

    Im with you that there is nothing new under the sun. We are just recreating what we have been able to do only we are making it easier to achieve.

    What we are seeing though is a seperation between cognisance of the issues and an understanding of the technology. The result of which are some mixed expectations between policy and enforcement.

  3. Pingback: Social media and HR strategy : Social Media Mafia