The Record Issue 11: Winter 2018

52 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om E nterprise social collaboration platforms, such as Microsoft’s Yammer and Teams, allow users to interact and collaborate in wholly new ways, empowering them to quickly share ideas, experiences and views with a wide audience. When implemented correctly, these platforms can improve productivity because teams of co-workers can collaborate on projects seamlessly. Meanwhile important commu- nications – such as product recalls or event announcements – can be disseminated instantly. However, these platforms do pose risks. Social collaboration can quickly turn private venting of a personal grievance into something that harms a company’s reputation or cost an employee their job. Other risks include the misuse of confiden- tial information, disparaging remarks about the business or employees, cyber bullying and inap- propriate non-business use. The wider misuse of the internet and social col- laborationby corporateworkers costs the economy billions of dollars annually. Employees are increas- ingly using working hours to check personal social networking sites and employers are also grappling with issues of defamation, cyber bullying, freedom of speech and the invasion of privacy. To overcome these issues, companies are estab- lishing social collaboration policies that encom- pass employee usage, content, safety, monitoring and legal considerations and adding them to their contractual terms with employees. A company’s social collaboration policy should make a clear distinction between busi- ness and personal use of social tools and it must give well-defined guidelines for what employ- ees can and cannot say about the organisation. The employer, staff and unions or staff repre- sentatives should agree on guidelines that give the company confidence that its reputation will be protected. Employers should apply the same standards of conduct for online matters as they would for offline matters, giving examples of what might be classified as defamation or a breach of con- fidentiality and listing the possible penalties for a breach. Similarly, employers should set rules outlining what information employees may dis- close, and the opinions they may express, when writing blogs and social media posts. It can be beneficial to share relevant legislation on copy­ right and public interest disclosure. By giving employees these guidelines, the company has grounds for challenging anyone who violates company messaging or standards. The policy must also ensure that employees feel protected, rather than gagged, in relation to cyber bullying on enterprise social collaboration platforms. The organisation’s cyber bullying pol- icy should be incorporated into its overall policy on corporate conduct. Safe social collaboration Enterprise social collaboration platforms can boost productivity and enterprise- wide collaboration, but only if companies set clear guidelines for its use R I CH OWEN : DXC T E CHNOLOGY V I EWPO I NT “An effective social collaboration strategy encompasses not only policy, but also tools and training”