I now work for Dudley CVS, a voluntary sector infrastructure organisation which employs 18 staff, has a board of 14 trustees, and is helped out by some long serving volunteers, as well as volunteers who are with us for shorter periods. To date the organisation has not developed a coherent approach to supporting its staff, trustees and volunteers (or indeed members) in the use of online social and collaborative tools. Despite this Dudley CVS staff have led some advances which are pioneering for Dudley, for example establishing and hosting regular Social Media Surgeries for local groups, clubs and societies, and being social reporters at events.
I am in the process of drafting an approach which the organisation could take to develop listening, learning, sharing and collaboration online. So far I’ve come up with three elements to the approach and some intended outcomes.
I’d most welcome your suggestions on anything important that I’ve missed, or information out there that I’d find useful.
The approach I’m suggesting is to:
- Agree and adopt organisation-wide use of specific platforms (e.g. Flickr for photograph sharing) for the coming period, based on what staff already use and are familiar with, and which will support our organisational aims and work. For some of this I’ll use the advice in @carlhaggarty’s blog post on facilitating a social media strategy.
- Develop support which can be implemented across the whole organisation, so extends to all of Dudley CVS’s staff, trustees and volunteers.
- Provide support in the form of:
- a simple policy – using great advice from @davebriggs in this blog post
- skills and needs analysis
- peer support e.g. Social Media Surgeries, cascading training
- written guidance sheets e.g. for creating, uploading and sharing video, using twitter etc. – in creating these I will revisit some fantastic posts by @theverytiger on her blog
- access to external training and support, including criteria/guidance to help line managers decide what is worth paying for or promoting to staff
I will also check out how existing strategies and policies in relation to ICT, communications, data protection, HR/training and personal development relate to the above.
The outcomes I’ve framed are that:
- Staff, trustees and volunteers feel confident to use the Web to listen, learn, share and network.
- Staff, trustees and volunteers receive support they find useful in order for them to develop skills and knowledge to use online networking tools confidently and appropriately.
- There is clear, consistent, accurate and responsive online communication by staff, trustees and volunteers on behalf of Dudley CVS.
- Staff, trustees and volunteers understand and regularly review the balance of the personal and professional facets of their online identity as an individual representing Dudley CVS. (Thanks to @sburrall for this blog which made me think more about this.)
- There is alignment of social networking and sharing with other communications including offline communications.
- Dudley CVS model good practice to both organisations we support and those we seek to influence in relation to effective online networking and engagement.
I found the aforementioned blog post on a good social media policy by @davebriggs really helpful in framing some of the outcomes.
In addition to all of this there is also the consideration of how we provide support to local groups and organisations too, which we’ve started with Social Media Surgeries and I’m hoping to have a regular column in our printed and online newsletter providing tips on using online tools and networks. But in terms of the internal approach – have I missed anything? And/or can you recommend relevant reading?