Developing trust is a crucial element to maintaining employee loyalty. What your staff does outside working hours is none of your business. Yes, that’s right; NONE of your business. Let’s say you have accepted a friend request or followed an employee on one of these social sites and you find that they were out all night partying and you have an important meeting the next day. Now you walk into work with some preconceived notion that they will either call in late or come to work and not be able to fulfill their responsibility. Having such a negative assumption already lays the foundation for a bad experience at work. Now you have to think, is that more of an issue with the employee or the boss?
As a boss, you must always work under the assumption that people will do what they are paid to do. Let them prove you wrong. Until then, it is your job to have the expectation that they will perform as required. When you are aware of what they do outside of work, it is only human nature that you begin to associate that with what they do during working hours. It’s not your job to be mommy or daddy. It is your job to be the boss. You can’t be a boss and a babysitter (although sometimes it feels like we manage children).
Being a good boss requires you to approach every situation with a positive outcome in mind. Your judgment cannot become clouded by that half-naked picture of an employee you saw online minutes before your most important meeting. You must maintain control and focus of your work and not allow your connection with employees on social media to cause you to make bad judgment decisions.
Sure there are rules and policies forbidding employees from doing certain things while on social media and those are rules that should be adhered to; however it is not the responsibility of the boss to follow employees on social media to make sure they are following those rules. The expectation is that they will comply and that expectancy should remain consistent unless or until they prove you wrong. You will save yourself from a world of unnecessary stress and confusion if you leave work at work and home life at home.
Just think, if an employee is found to be “misbehaving” on social media and it turns out to become bad press for the company and you are associated with that employee (i.e. on their friends list, or following them) the finger-pointing goes in your direction too. You’ll find yourself being asked questions like: “Why didn’t you bring this to our attention sooner?”; “How long have you known about this?”; “Shouldn’t you have seen this coming?” Then you sit back and think….when did I become responsible for his/her behavior? The answer: when you began connecting with them on social media. My dear friend; the assumption is that you are still responsible for your staff once you put yourself in a situation that will make you aware of their outside activities. Do you want to be in that situation? I’d guess the answer is no.
This is water by the way! :-) >>
All the best,
Mary V. Davids
Mary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.