10 tips for social media and work

10-Jun-2020

10 tips for social media and work

Social media is being embraced at a rapid rate by our members to comment on health policy, politics and social issues. Doctors have taken to instagram, facebook, and twitter to comment in their personal capacity on a range of issues. You shoudn't shy away from expressing yourself online, but it is is a good idea to know your rights and how to use social media safely and professionally.

Here are 10 key tips for our members who are active on social media:

  1. Familiarise yourself with NSW Health Public Communications Procedures Policy Directive. Clause 9.2.2 contains the relevant provisions regarding personal use of social media by staff: https://www1.health.nsw.gov.au/pds/ActivePDSDocuments/PD2017_012.pdf
  2. Remember that even if you are posting or writing outside of work hours, controversial posts can still be found to be in breach of the Code of Conduct. Regardless of whether the posts are made outside of work hours or only viewed by a limited number of people, if the comments cause damage to the employer, or breach an express term of an employment contract, then they could be grounds for disciplinary action including a warning or in serious cases, termination of employment
  3. Be conscious of your language – be professional and respectful of others’ ideas and views
  4. Manage your profile’s privacy settings to ensure you know who is reading them
  5. Make it clear the views expressed on self-hosted private sites do not represent those of your employer
  6. Do not make comments about patients or post photos of patients as this may breach the Code of Conduct and patient privacy
  7. Remember that comments made on social media have a permanence about them. Consider whether you would be comfortable with posts in years to come
  8. Do not post complaints about colleagues or management on social media. Depending on what is said, this could amount to bullying conduct. If you have concerns you wish to raise about your employer or others, social media is probably not the space to raise them. Venting online is risky and could result in disciplinary action if the post damages your employer’s reputation.
  9. Do not make comments in the capacity as an employee of NSW Health without prior approval
  10. With the above tips in mind, don’t shy away from engaging with social media! NSW Health staff have the right to enter in to public debates and comment on political, social or other issues. Just be clear that the comments and views are those of your own, not your employer’s.