Olympic Rings at Tower Bridge - www.flickr.com/suzyred
Social media policy comes again to the fore.
I have an Olympic volunteer staying with me, in glorious east London. Whilst jealously eyeing up the fabulous London 2012 kit he has been given, I had a little look at the handbook issued to all workers by LOCOG and the section on Social Media is a triumph of common sense.
It quite rightly says that anything you say online will reflect on the organisation and the Games therefore think before clicking.
A BBC news item on this back in January 2012 seems unnecessarily negative to me. As with any large-scale workforce, you need to have some ground rules in place to ensure the effective and smooth running of the business. Unless regularly updating social media is a part of your job, I'm not sure your manager will want to see you using social media to the detriment of fulfilling your duties. There are also confidentiality and data protection issues around revealing details of locations (e.g. venues), clients & customers (e.g. athletes & dignitaries) or security arrangements. It makes no difference whether you are being paid or are working as an intern or a volunteer. You are there to do a job and have committed to abide by the rules and regulations of the organisation.
A quick Google search this morning brought up an interesting reaction to this. One potential volunteer was quoted as saying:"Because of this I have cancelled my application. I do not want to be associated with anything that is that controlling. Bye all". This seems a little at odds with the notion of volunteering to me but is perhaps indicative of the "show and tell" aspects of social media - for example, the "look at me doing something fabulous" status updates. Maybe this means the volunteers that are now on-site are those who genuinely want to be there.
Does it come down to a differing work ethic between volunteers and paid staff? To agree with this is to do a great disservice to those dedicated volunteers in all fields of work and walks of life. A firm but fair policy followed up with effective line management and supervision is the best way to ensure a happy, positive and productive workforce.
- Suzanne (tweeting happily this afternoon @suzyredrec from the Olympic Park!)