It's a tricky one for many people, their social media existence and their work place. Quite a lot of folk on twitter tend to say what they do and then add "views are purely my own" or similar. A regular reader has sent us a link to a document that went before the Finance Housing and Resources committee at Glenurquhart Road today so it is all done and dusted now. Anyway, the document is all about the Council and its staff's use of Social Media.
There were some appendixes listed for approval. This observer was particularly interested in the first part of section 5
"5. Using Social Media for Personal Use
As the use and popularity of social media grows, the lines between what is public and private, personal and professional have blurred. The Council respects their employees‟ right to personal use of social media out-with the workplace.
However, staff should be aware that actions in and outside work that affect their work performance, the work of others, or adversely affect the Council‟s reputation, may become a matter for the Council.
Considering the following points may help avoid any conflict between personal use of social media and an employee‟s employment with the Council:
If staff already use social networks or blogs for personal use and have indicated in any way that they work for the Council they should remove these. The personal image projected in social media affects an individual‟s reputation and may affect the reputation of the Council. Criticising the Council, even on a personal blog can be damaging. By identifying themselves as a Council employee within a social network, they are connecting to their colleagues, managers and even Council citizens." Read the entire document here.
There were other points under item 5 but is this observer alone in finding the above paragraph a bit disconcerting? We have the word "may" in the second paragraph and then the word "should" in the third para.
"Should remove," are we to take that to mean remove the social network or simply any references to your work? If you are a Council employee how do you keep the fact that you work for the Council from people you've known all your life, or all the residents in your town or village that will cross your social network path? If you say you are a teacher and live in the Highlands for example, then are you not giving away the fact you work for the Council? Is the above paragraph too intrusive? The day is done however, and the above material will either have been agreed or thrown out.