I have chosen to work on Ford because I like cars and especially the Ford ones. With this article I would like to talk about the digital participation guidelines of that famous company.
That guideline has been made for the employees when they are participating in an online conversation dealing with the company or the automotive industry.
They have 5 different core principles.
1) Honesty about who you are
That means you always have to tell who you are when you are interacting with people. In addition to that you have to say you are employed at Ford. Give his name is not only an ethical thing to do but also a kind of protection for the company, as in the United States, where there is a regulation by the Federal Trade Commission.
That leads us to the second principle which is:
2) Clarity That your opinions are your own
If you are allowed to speak in the name of the company, there is no problem. But when it is not the case, you have to make clear that the opinions you give are yours, in order not to damage the image of the company because. Also, you have to be careful with what you say because the other participants of the conversation can form an opinion about the Company based on the behavior of its personnel.
3) Respect and humility in all communication
The company asks his employees to treat people (past and present co-workers, suppliers…) with respect. It means they must not send comments which can be seen as threatening, offensive… The employees are also asked to stop the conversation if it becomes profane or if it goes off topic.
4) Good judgment in sharing only public information – including financial data
The employees can not post whatever they want. In business, it is good to keep some information confidential. Indeed for the companies it is a protection against speculation, rumors …
5) Awareness that what you say is permanent
With that principle, the company wants to make the employees remember that everything they can write will be on internet forever. In that way, they have to pay attention to everything they can write or say : “Be sure you mean what you say, and say what you mean”
With all those principles, we can see that Ford tries to create a kind of company culture concerning the information shared on internet. They give different advises and the employees have to take them in consideration. In case of doubt they have to “play it smart and check with a member of the Communications team or the Legal office before posting”.