Reasons not to snoop on employees’ social media
  • leadership
  • Blog post

Reasons not to snoop on employees’ social media

You’ve probably already figured out that getting employees to use social media responsibly is more about education and persuasion than enforcement.

Here’s another reason: A third state – California, following Maryland and Illinois – has just passed a law protecting employees from employer intrusion on their social media activities. Other states have similar laws in the pipeline.

The California law bars employers from obliging employees to:

  • divulge what social media they personally use
  • disclose usernames or passwords, or
  • access their accounts with the employer watching.

Sure, you have an interest in trying to avoid employees’ bad-mouthing your organization – or each other – on Facebook or Twitter. But it’s becoming increasingly hard for employers to achieve such ends by surveillance and/or coercion.

Better: Make sure you have a social media policy, then explain – and re-explain – why it says what it does.

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