A Social Media Policy for Engaged Employees, and HR Satisfaction
A real social media policy is the taunting, mysterious ghost hanging in front of many HR managers. But don’t put it off forever.
A Social Media Policy for Engagement
AND Talent Retention
We wrote last time about the using social media to make your newly happy employees just a little more pro-company.
Granted, nearly everybody wants their employees to support the company, do the recruiting and do the marketing. It’s not that far out of the question but how do you do it?
Well, giving them the freedom to use social media is one way, but the big scary snake in that basket is the question of an official, like corporate social media policy. How do you even begin to herd all the cats into agreement on this one.
Just like our metaphors, snakes and cats don’t mix up well, and like there are dozens of different players with stakes in this game, there are lots of things to consider. Here’s how you can bring them all together and not lose too much sleep.
Developing a Social Media Policy in Five Steps that Work!
Step 1) Know where you’re stepping!
Understanding the goals of a sound social media policy is absolutely fundamental. Almost every week we refer back to the point of a “Values Driven Culture.” Any time a policy issue comes up it’s going to work better if it fits in with what’s already established. If we’re talking about values, well it makes that much more sense. For marketing, recruitment and overall engagement, you’re in the right place.
Step 2) Customize – to your own Culture
It’s been famously argued that culture is more important than strategy. Take that one to heart. Social media policies are as different as businesses and cultures. They’re also as flexible as your business needs to be, but they should reflect your core values and to your core culture.
Step 3) Consult with every department
Different departments have different goals and even different cultures. Knowing what they want is as important as predicting their possible struggles or problems. When you’ve consulted with everyone you can more equitably plan policies that allow everyone more freedom.
Step 4) Remind those lower on the totem pole of the goals
This one frequently gets overlooked. Engaged employees want to understand the how and why of any policy changes. Their enthusiasm may very well depend on the explicit articulation of goals – including increased freedom to advocated, trumpet or sing praises. If that’s not their job normally, there’s simply no reason to believe they’ll start doing it now without explicit instructions and encouragement. That goes for helpful sharing, liking and tweeting.
Step 5) Promote Widely
After review by legal and everyone else who needs to know, get it out there. You’re people will be pleased with their increased access, and that they aren’t working in the dark ages, or an old decrepit insurance company.
Remember, engaging employees is a first step to engaging clients and customers, and it may be a way to entice candidates, too. It’s also sometimes slow, and it can have a very short memory. Some disasters even go away quickly, to everyone’s relief. But don’t let avoiding disaster dictate every decision you make, you end up infantilizing good employees – and muffling your entire message.
But working with all of your employees is a great way for many smaller companies to seem much, much bigger. And a company with twenty engaged employees is suddenly competing, quite admirably, with competitor 10X or even 100X bigger, and much better armed. Perhaps that’s the whole point.
Image this page: 100 años de Gran Vía, by Manchego via Wikimedia Commons