5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t ‘Friend’ Your Employees on Social Media
By Alex Neil Posted Jun 28, 2017 in Social Media Marketing
When you work together with a bunch of people on a daily basis, it may seem like a harmless move to add them as a friend on social media. After all, they are just your colleagues, right?
But think carefully before you do this. As a boss, you’ve probably worked hard to earn their respect and maintain an air of authority around you so that you get the results you want in your establishment. But on social media the line between professional and personal gets blurred. It may get to a point when it will interfere with your professional relationship with your employees and your company may be affected because of it.
If someone asked a few years ago whether they should add their employees on social media, the answer probably would be ‘yes, why not?’ But now, people are not conservative at all about what they share on social media and the posts are usually not appropriate to share with your colleagues that you work with on a daily basis.
Here are a few more reasons why you shouldn’t ‘friend’ your employees on social media platforms.
1- It’s Too Personal:
If you think about the stuff your share or gets shared by your friends on social media, most of those posts are too personal to share with the people your work with (unless they are really close to you). Your employees don’t need to see you in your beachwear, your kids’ photos, your selfies or the informal comments that your trade with your close friends.
On social media, it’s easy to forget that you are commenting on your boss’ posts or photos. Your employee may say something that end up being really informal and crosses the boundaries of professional etiquette.
2- You Can’t Always Be Careful:
Let’s say you added your employees as friends thinking that you are the master of editing privacy settings for every single post you share. But try as you might, you can’t always be on guard. Sometimes, you may forget to change your privacy setting and a rather unprofessional or inappropriate post gets shared with your employees. That’s a very good reason to be embarrassed or even lose respect in the office space because let’s face it: what goes on social media doesn’t necessarily stay on social media.
3- It May Be Uncomfortable For Your Employees:
Unless you are the kind of boss who lives off embarrassing and making their employees miserable, you shouldn’t send a friend request to your employees. They will probably accept it out of obligation because you are their boss after all. But, it will make them very uncomfortable about each and every post they share. It will be constantly in the back of their minds that you can also see their posts. Again, they can’t always be on guard and edit their privacy settings. Don’t put them in a position that they can’t get out of.
4- You Will Be Seeing Things You Shouldn’t:
So, you have employees added to your social media account. One of them doesn’t come to work one day without calling in sick or giving some other reason. They may have posted about that reason on their social media account the day before or another. Now, this can go two ways. One is that you had seen the post and know without the employee telling you the cause of their absence and sympathize with them. The second one is that your employee assumes that you saw the post even if you hadn’t and doesn’t feel the need to inform you. Either way, your company suffers. You should be limited to the knowledge they provide on their own. You don’t need to see their personal health issues, their family or religious problems on the social media.
5- Privacy Invasion:
It’s a known fact that people use Facebook or some other social network several times while they are working. The problem with ‘friending’ your employees is that every time you go online during office hours, your employees can see you and vice versa. If you go online during office hours, your employees will see it and think that it’s okay for them to do so as well. Or if you see them online, you may think that they are neglecting their duties ad wasting office time when all they are doing is freshening up so that they can work more efficiently. A little privacy is definitely needed in this case which can’t be possible if you and your employees are connected on social media.