Recently, employees have brought attention to the issue of employers requesting Facebook passwords as a condition of being hired.
While many have mentioned that the request is a clear violation of the employee’s privacy rights, members of the House of Representatives voted on March 27 to determine whether or not the practice could be protected under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The legislation and the bill it was attached to did not pass, but it definitely brought the issue to the attention of the nation.
Many assume that the request is not one that many employers are making, however the issue still remains that there are indeed employers asking employees for password to personal Facebook pages.
What could be the reason for employees making these requests? I assume to protect the brand.
Have you read stories about employees who write angry rants about customers on their Facebook pages and are later fired as a result? Employers release those employees because their actions affect the brand of the company.
Companies invest time and money into establishing a successful brand. The comments from fans and consumers on your company’s social media pages can have a major effect on your brand. The comments from your employees on your social media page and their own pages have the same affect, even more so when the comments are negative.
So what can your company do to protect your brand?
- Invest time in making employees proud of the brand.
- Share what some of the consequences are for the negative attention the brand would receive as a result of the employee posting negative comments on social media networks.
- Provide employees with a forum to express their frustrations from the job. Everyone needs to vent occasionally just make sure it is not at the expense of the brand.
Your brand is important, but so is the privacy of your employees. Make sure your brand and your employees are respected. Contact JASE to create a social media strategy and a brand and reputation management plan.
image credit: dewitt on flickr