Some companies have promulgated separate social media policies. But as we consulted organizations in other industries, and our own Human Resources and Compliance colleagues, we determined Mayo Clinic did not need additional policies for social media. And so, here’s how we began our Guidelines document:
Follow all applicable Mayo Clinic policies. For example, you must not share confidential or proprietary information about Mayo Clinic and you must maintain patient privacy. Among the policies most pertinent to this discussion are those concerning patient confidentiality, government affairs, mutual respect, political activity, Computer, E-mail & Internet Use, the Mayo Clinic Integrity Program, photography and video, and release of patient information to media.
By creating guidelines instead of an entire new policy, we acknowledged that social media are just another set of communications tools. Any problems that might emerge would not be due to some unique characteristic of these platforms. We don’t have a separate policy for telephone or elevator conversations, so why create one for conversations on social media? We decided to emphasize that existing policies apply in this context, too.
We could have stopped after the first six words: Follow all applicable Mayo Clinic policies. The remainder of the paragraph merely highlights instances that are most susceptible to violation online. We went beyond those first six words to create clarity, raise awareness, and prevent mistakes.
Guideline #2: Speak for Yourself
Tags: Employee Communications