Telstra steps into the unknown with social media policy
Telstra has taken a liberal approach to regulating employees' use of social media, with a new policy assuming that employees are responsible and will be the company's best advocates.
Employees among best advocatesQuilty says an "open slather" approach with "no rules at all" would be unrealistic given Telstra's need to ensure coordinated and consistent messages, but at the other end of the continuum, a highly prescriptive policy that discourages staff from using social media during work time would be "ineffective and counter-productive".
"So shouldn't we start from a position that Telstra employees are responsible people and, if we give them the opportunity, they are likely to be among our best advocates - our best online 'word of mouthers' if you like?"
The three RsTelstra's policy requires employees engaging in work-related use of social media to:
The policy includes an example of a disclaimer for employees to use when referring to Telstra on social media: "the views expressed in this post are mine only and do not necessarily reflect the views of Telstra".
It also specifically allows use of Telstra-provided services (such as email, internet access and instant messaging) for social media participation, "however it must be within reasonable limits and not interfere with your work".
Employees who don't comply with the policy might face disciplinary action under Telstra's "Performance Improvement and Conduct Management" process, which can involve a verbal or written warning, "or, in serious cases, termination of your employment or engagement with Telstra".
Social media training for "authorised representatives"In a novel initiative, Telstra allows its employees to become "an authorised representative on a social media platform".
These workers need approval from their one-up manager and must complete the Telstra social media accreditation process, as well as additional training to update their knowledge on emerging social trends and evolving best practice in social media when requested to do so.
It requires that these employees disclose only publicly-available information and that they are not the first to make a Telstra announcement without appropriate clearances.
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