I'm working on some risk assessment tools for firms to use to determine the level of rigidity (or lack thereof) needed in their own social media policies--and firms' likelihood, or not, of success in using social media tools to their full potential.
And I wholeheartedly believe that, while some potential risks exist (liability, etc), such policies are primarily anchored to the level of trust within an organization.
I like to keep things simple so I created a 3 question "Quiz" for firms to assess the strictness of their policies governing, well, everything--but particularly: Communication, Internet and Email Use, and Social Media Use.
Here's the quiz:
- How important is autonomy among your firm’s values and current practices? (scale 1-5, 5 highest)
- How important is innovation among your firm’s values and current practices? (scale 1-5, 5 highest)
- To what degree does your culture demonstrate trust in, and respect of, employee judgment? (scale 1-5, 5 highest)
Add to determine your total score.
Score of 11-15 = SM usage can flourish in your firm because trust inspires people. A brief, mellow policy will be more than adequate and you won’t have to worry about hampering people’s enthusiasm with rigid, unfriendly policies. (samples: Baker & Daniels Mayo Clinic and Headset Bros )
Score of 6-10 = SM usage may be less than it could otherwise be. A tendency toward carefully worded, somewhat detailed policies convey the firm is wary or skeptical and somewhat concerned about being embarrassed by employees.(sample: Jaffe template Harvard Law and Microsoft)
Score of 1-5 = SM doesn’t fit well with your current culture. Very specific, restrictive policies probably suit your firm best. Look closely at the underlying reasons for your concerns and try to understand the root cause so you can work on building a more knowledge-worker-friendly environment. (I choose not to embarrass any orgs by listing them here, but these tend to exceed 2 pages, and include everything but the kitchen sink)
I invite your thoughts...
PS - hat tip to Social Media Governance for their excellent compilation of sample policies and to Ron Baker for his response to my questions on the subject which helped contribute to the direction of this brief quiz