There are many barriers to the take up of social networking tools, and Enterprise 2.0, within organisations. One of the big ones is fear, which in part is due to a lack of understanding of the tools and a lack of governance. A couple of days ago ComputerWorld published a story about the six commandments of social networks at work which starts to provide a framework for governance.
- Thou shalt present yourself respectfully and honestly
- Thou shalt ask: Do I want to explain this to an employer in 10 years? Or to my boss now?
- Thou shalt set boundaries
- Thou shalt not limit thy employees’ time on social networks
- Thou shalt not leave thy employees to founder, but lay down workplace guidelines
- Thou shalt remember: We are all still figuring this out
The list is a good start but does not deliver the details required not to mention it flips between what individuals should do (1-3, & 6) and what organisation should do (4-6) which makes it a little confusing.
Every organisation should be looking at governance of these tools, but remembering that while the technology is new’ish the issues are not. For example most major organisation already have medai guidelines for when senior employees are talking to the media, and acceptance use of internet policies. Both of these documents would form the basis of a governance framework for social network/media tools in the workplace. I say a basis as they need to completely reworked to suit the connective nature of social networks and media and the fact the employees will be contributors online not just consumers.