Planning, Startups, Stories


Tim Berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime.

What Would You Do About This Facebook Post? 0

Hats off to Inc Magazine for this great treatment of a problem a lot of business owners face. In this case it’s a man named Mark, who discovers:screen shot

Recently an employee put a photo of the cover of the book Your Company Sucks on their own Facebook wall, titling the entry “Succinct.”

To his great credit, author Jeff Haden offers no easy solutions.

First he points out that Mark doesn’t know whether the employee even thought that the post might be taken as a complaint against his company. Maybe that person liked the book, and the title.

Then he quotes HR expert Suzanne Lucas saying …

ignore it completely. The chances of anyone caring one bit about this are extremely small. The chances of this blowing up in an employer’s face by taking action are much greater.

And I like his recommendation too, Jeff the author:

I would ask the employee to delete the post. No matter what the intent, others could take it the wrong way. A good employees who meant no harm will immediately say, “Oh, wow, I didn’t think of that. I’ll take it down.” If the employee really is unhappy with the company, that gives us the chance to discuss what’s wrong and hopefully make a bad situation better.

That doesn’t sound bad either. Actually, I like Jeff’s suggestion better; but that’s just me. Who knows?

I think it’s an interesting problem. Social media is publishing, and publishing is freedom, and employment doesn’t — or isn’t supposed to — limit freedom. And even before social media, did I as an employers get to monitor what people wrote in, say, letters to the editor published in the local newspaper? No. On the other hand, did I have to continue paying somebody who publicly and openly insults me or my company? Probably not, but that gets into some interesting legal issues, and I’m not a lawyer.

What do you think?