I’m still deciding if HR can be friends with social media. (Or is it the other way around?) On one hand, it’s a fantastic way for HR professionals to share information with the world. Sometimes it’s difficult to covert regulatory information into the layman’s language. It’s great knowing that you can go to Going International with Emily Chardac to know some of the international components of HR. On the other hand, HR deals with some rather touchy or controversial subjects. On that same note, employers are starting to write policies related to whether their employees can have a facebook account or blog.
Do we or don’t we?
I’m still asking myself that question. There are a million and one different HR blogs out there. Which are relevant? Which do you trust? Do lawyers understand how different employers interpret regulations? (Of course they know the law, but employers have their own way of administering sometimes.) There are so many factors that go into the equation. Before I become a dedicated reader, I ask my fellow HR colleagues if they have any recommendations. Word of mouth is really valuable.
Instilling the fear of God.
An expression my supervisor uses all the time. I’m not convinced that’s the best way to approach a situation, but it does deliver results. We’ve all read about the employee who blogged about their employer and got fired. Don’t be that person. I’ve read opinions across the board on this – employee’s right to write about topics they wish in their non-work time (freedom of speech) or employer’s need to protect the integrity of their reputation. What gives? To be on the safe side, if you’re thinking about starting your own blog – just touch base with your HR department or supervisor with any potential parameters that you may need to be aware of.
I love reading social media from other HR professionals because, selfishly speaking, it gives me some great ideas. LinkedIn has been a fantastic platform for us to talk about what’s going on in the field and how to make sense of upcoming legislative changes. (Health Care Reform, anyone?) Without these platforms it would be difficult to find like-minded individuals in similar situations. One of my areas of expertise is administering the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) on both the federal and state level. Without these forums I wouldn’t be able to review what other employers have done in some of the more convoluted situations.
What are your thoughts on this topic and what does your employer do? I’d be very interested in knowing your feedback.