Human Resources

Social Media Policies: 14 Key Guidelines

Make social media policies a subset of your overall business strategy.

September 07, 2010
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6. Identification as an employee online

Employees belong to various social networks and identify themselves as credit union employees. If they choose to do so, here’s a suggested guideline: Be aware of your association with the credit union in online social networks. If you identify yourself as a credit union employee, ensure your profile and related content is consistent with how you and the credit union wish you to present yourself. This includes what you write about yourself and the types of photos you publish.

7. Copyrights

The issue of copyright in the Internet age is continually changing and confusing, but it’s an issue employees must respect. Remind them to respect the laws governing copyright and fair use of copyrighted material, including the credit union’s own copyrights and brands. When quoting someone else’s work, they must attribute the quote to its author.

8. Confidentiality

Members trust their credit union to protect their financial assets and information. Here’s a sample confidentiality statement from the whitepaper: You may not post any sensitive, confidential, proprietary, or financial information about the credit union, its members, or its employees. You must not use or disclose the credit union’s, its members’ or your co-workers’ confidential, proprietary, or otherwise sensitive business or personal information on your personal blog or other social networking sites.

9. Defense against personal attacks

Few events could be more punishing to the organization’s morale than personal attacks or heated conversations that should be carried off-line. It’s appropriate to encourage questions and discussion about posted content, but without personal attacks on the writer or those who comment on the post. Also, remind users that failure to respect fellow participants on the social media site could result in removal and blocked access.

10. All rights reserved and hold harmless

The social media site should state the parties’ legal rights. The council white paper suggests this wording:

All rights reserved: The blog owner, administrator, contributor, editor, and/or author reserve the right to edit, delete, move or mark as spam any and all comments. We also have the right to block access to any one or group from commenting, or from the entire blog.

Hold harmless: All comments within this blog are the responsibility of the commenter, not the blog owner, administrator, contributor, editor, or author. By submitting a comment on our blog, you agree that the comment content is your own, and to hold this site, [name of site], and all subsidiaries and representatives harmless from any and all repercussions, damages, or liability.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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