As more and more people expose their daily lives on social media, both the good and the bad come to fore.
With companies creating more of a presence in social media, fear arise that the actions of their employees on social media will reflect poorly on their organization. This has lead to the adoption of social media conduct policies.
Take for example the case of the woman on a bike who was photographed flipping off the presidential motorcade as it passed by her. The photo Went viral almost immediately and the woman photographed used it as her profile picture on Twitter and Facebook. As word spread, she brought the situation to the attention of the HR department at her employer, a government contractor. She was subsequently let go from her position, citing violation of company’s social media policy.
She emphasized to the executives that she wasn’t on the job when the incident happened and that her social media pages don’t mention her employer. They told her that because Akima was a government contractor, the photo could hurt their business, she said.
So how do both employees navigate these perilous waters where personal and professional space are quickly merging?
Companies are more and moe frequently reminded of the importance of social media policies and how the actions of their employees can reflect upon their image and objectives.
An article from Forbes illustrates the various reasons why adopting such a policy is important. Among the points offered are:
- Employee education
- The blurred lines between personal and professional space
- Presenting a professional tone
- Respecting professional boundries
- Maintaining confidentiality
- Clarifying whose opinions are being expressed
- Awareness that an employee is a representative for their employer at all times
The biggest argument that I’ve seen lies in the fact that employees may feel that their personal life is just that – personal – and their employee should have no say in what happens when they’re “off the clock”