„Generally speaking, what you do outside of work is your own business.
However, you never stop being an employee of TNT.” – from the guideline
TNT EMPLOYEES SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES
How to make your voices heard and display
TNT’s can-do attitude online
In my first blog post, I would like to write about a delivery company’s social media guideline, which describes very clear the DOs and DONTs towards their employees. It’s essential to be awake of our digital footprint on social media sites – especially nowadays – in an interconnected world. If we posted something on the timeline, but we changed our mind, the chance is bigger seconds by seconds that somebody has already seen or shared our post. That’s why thinking twice is a very wise step.
Why did I choose this topic?
In general, my main reason I chose this topic is when I first hear „delivery company”, the image which comes in my mind is not so positive. I saw several videos about how employees deal with packages and it made me curious to read about their guideline, even it’s Social Media Guideline. Through this opportunity and assignment I try to dispel my stereotypes with delivery firms. In addition, I love the funny advertisement videos of TNT with the name of “Add to drama” on Youtube. Links below:
First of all, let’s see what we can find on TNT’s website about the purpose of their guideline:
“The main purposes of the Social Media Guideline:
- explain what social media are and why using them is a good idea;
- help and encourage, by offering practical advice on how to interact online;
- create awareness among employees that their actions and behaviour affect the reputation of our company, even outside the workplace.”
– from the official website of TNT
TNT tries to clarify requirements and rights of their employees to avoid any kind of misunderstandings regarding to irresponsible social media behaviour; which would cause bad reputation for the company.
They explicate their guidelines in 4 pages – last 2 pages are summaries with visualizations to make it understandable for employees. A positive feature of the guideline is that it’s short, brief and not too complicated. Moreover, it is well-structured and has logical steps through the text (introduction, body, summary). Another advantage is that it includes links for people who want to find more information considering TNT Brand Guideline. However, you have to log in to be able to check that document.
They haven’t changed their Social Media Guideline since 01/09/2010, thus it might work well. It shows clear communication between the company (expectations) and employees (behaviour). It seems that their guideline is adaptable for employees (version 1.0 proves it). The guideline is available for public, so you can read the file on Scribd.com and also downloadable in 8 different languages from the official website of TNT.
Structure of TNT Social Media Guideline (Analyzing):
1. Introducing Social Media
„Social media are media that use online technologies to facilitate social interaction. By inviting users to become content producers instead of content consumers, they transform traditional media broadcasts into social media conversations.”
Writing about the objectives of Social media can be very helpful in the introduction. It gives a proximate idea about our role in social media “world”.
2. Why use Social Media?
„Social media provide our employees with channels / tools to make their voices heard and display their can-do attitude online.”
After introduction, they explain why the usage of social media is necessary for the company and employees.
3. Objective of the guideline
„to help TNT employees get the most out of social media while avoiding the pitfalls”
„apply to your personal social media activities only, whether during work-hours or at home.”
„Generally speaking, what you do outside of work is your own business. However, you never stop being an employee of TNT.”
Then, they unfold the aim of the guideline. I’m sure the quote from the guideline you can read above is the most important philosophy. Even you finished your 8 hour work, you are still TNT employee in the rest of the day, thus your personal decisions and behaviour can have positive or negative effect on the image of the company.
In the last part of “Objectives of the guidleline” they use 2 negative examples. It might seem useful that they present the way of behaviour through these examples which is not accepted. It’s a personal and Domino Pizza one. As they mention factual examples with links, it looks reliable. But my question would be whether it is necessary to write exact company or individual name; because TNT might generate bad reputation for them. Would the situation be the same if they mention a rival firm’s negative behaviour?! Isn’t it about blaming each other?!
4. Here are some general principles that can help your social media activity
- Know your Business Principles (how to deal with colleagues, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders)
- Point out that you are not an official spokesperson (indicate that it’s not an official TNT communication channel)
- Respect the TNT Brand guidelines (if you want to use the logo; „TNT Brand Guidelines” link is attached in the text)
- Recognize that you are entering a social system (behave in a good manner, respect others)
- Remember that Google never forgets (think twice before you act)
5. In case of doubt (they share contact adress; and it’s advisable to ask your manager if you are not sure in something)
6. List of DOs and DONTs (contact is again written on the bottom of the page for more information)
It’s an excellent idea that they wrote 2 summary pages which are visualized to make the rules clear for employees who have to follow it.
7. Reacting to posts about TNT (flow chart – How to contribute)
The lines between our professional and personal lives are blurring. So, reading TNT’s Guideline can give us a broader view about the company’s expectations towards the employees; thus both sides can refer to this document if it’s necessary. I would also appreciate as an employee if the company has clear expectations toward me how I should behave on social media platforms which are written down in a document and thus misunderstandings can be avoided. Be honest, open and cooperative with employees, in consequence they will probably respect the company with its rules and you can avoid internal conflicts.