SOCIAL MEDIA / DEC. 26, 2014
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Are You Helping or Harming Your Employer on Social Media?

Business has gone digital, thanks to the pervasive nature of the Internet and our insatiable desires to be connected around the clock. There have been numerous articles of employers firing employees over comments made on social media, of firms demanding access to what amounts to private correspondence and restrictions on their at home freedom of speech.

While this has served to anger the public, few have spent the time needed to consider why these restrictions are even being sought. It is not like it is directly improving their bottom line, after all every restriction creates added cost. Here are some things you may be doing on social media that may harm your employer:

Discuss business projects

Most projects are started with a blanked non-disclosure agreement. This states that all employees tasked with the project are expected to be quiet about it, restricting the information to those that need to know about it. These restrictions typically are in place to keep speculation from running rampant, creating pressure on both businesses involved in the deal.

When you leak this information, you compromise the company’s position. This can lead to the contract being made void, and the reputation of the firm destroyed. Make sure to keep work related matters at work.

Create workplace tension

There is an old saying, comparing the office to high school. People do not always like each other, for any reason imaginable. By keeping the matter restricted to work, it is possible for human resources to handle the situation without creating a companywide problem. The smaller the issue is, the lower the likelihood that the only solution would be to terminate everyone involved.

Do not spread rumors, either good or bad. The general rule of thumb is to never discuss the workplace outside of work. Treat your personal and professional lives like the distinct entities they are. If in doubt, ask yourself if you would want someone talking about you. By and far, the topic should not be posted.

Accidentally spread false information

No one is perfect. It is possible to hear material that might make you excited, for instance the company might have landed an account that you have wanted to work on for some time. However, there always exists the possibility that you have misheard or misread something.

By posting material through social media, you are bypassing the company’s information control specialists. This can directly harm the image they are trying to project, and can lead to headaches for everyone around if the information is inaccurate.

Leave business notifications to the department in charge of it. After all, they are the ones getting paid to talk to the public. There is no point in doing their job for them, for free to boot.

Give the competition material to work with

In a free market system, there is no such thing as getting along. Companies are constantly looking for ways to better position themselves, and they do not care whom they hurt to obtain a better market share.

If you release material about the company, you may give the competition insight as to how you operate, and whom you are working with. This will give their acquisitions department enough information to approach your company’s clients and try to snag them.

Leave the publication of business material to the professionals, and limit your social media posting to matters that only cover your personal life. Remember, anything you post can be read by those that will have no qualm costing you your job if it means higher bonuses at the end of the year for themselves.

 

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