Drafting Considerations for Social-Media Policies

Employers who are preparing to adopt a social-media policy would be well advised to read an excellent post on Mashable.com, titled, HOW TO: Get Your Employees On Board With Your Social Media Policy.  The piece, which is written by Maria Ogneva, who is the Head of Community at Yammer, offers some terrific suggestions for making your social-media policy work.  

She makes a number of suggestions about ways to implement a social-media policy effectively.  All of the suggestions are top-notch.  But a more important message underlying the post is this: no matter how well drafted your social-media policy is, it’s worth nothing unless your employees know about and understand it.  Compliance is always the single most important objective to consider when drafting any kind of workplace policy.  The goal for a social-media policy is no different.

The purpose is not to have a written document that you can use as a basis for disciplining employees when they violate the rules you’ve prescribed.  Instead, you’re trying to avoid having employees violate those rules in the first place.  The key to compliance is education.  Making sure your workforce is not only aware of the policy (which is, by the way, an important component of the process), but, also, that they truly understand the policy and what it is trying to prevent and protect against. 

Consider engaging in some dialogue with employees as part of the roll-out of your policy.  You may be surprised at the insight they’re able to offer.

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