Social Media HR Policies: Protect Your Brand and Employees

I read an interesting article last week from Future Fundraising Now titled, “How a bad social networking policy can bite you in the rear,” which talks about the backlash that Commonwealth Bank faced for monitoring their employees’ social networks too closely. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The story: Commonwealth Bank, a large multinational bank, recently made news with a wacko, paranoid social media policy for its employees. It threatens “serious disciplinary action which may include termination” for all kinds of online activities that the company might deem as hurting the company. They are also required to spy on and persecute the online activities of their friends.

Sounds absurd, right? However, this story paints a picture of what a lot of organizations are concerned about. Social media is a tricky animal – although there are obvious business benefits, many organizations still don’t know how to manage it. Some organizations need to realize the viral nature of social media, and that it can have far worse consequences even after their employees are terminated. Without the right tools to know what is being said about their brand, it can lead to this type of paranoia and extreme policies.

Doing social network analysis using data visualization technology can help mollify organizations like Commonwealth Bank by helping them better manage and monitor their brands and HR policies. Everyday, we leave a trail of digital breadcrumbs that can be traced easier than you think with a few simple technologies. Texts, Tweets, Facebook, FourSquare, e-mails, and so on, are all information that have timestamps on them and can pinpoint what people are doing.

When you gather this data and present it as a graph, you’ll be able to visualize and analyze broad patterns in networks of people, places they checked in to, and common topics they’re talking about. Graphs can elucidate broad behavioral patterns, and can help you proactively react to these trends to better fine-tune your policies accordingly. When your policies are well defined, you won’t have to worry about persecuting any one individual without a strong, supporting foundation.

Source: Future Fundraising Now