Facebook Etiquette at Work: Sharing Personal Info, Opinions Pose
1 in 3 Employees Surveyed Aware of a Colleague Reprimanded for Inappropriate
SEATTLE -- April 17, 2013
Employees who share personal information and opinions on Facebook are in
danger of risking job security and jeopardizing workplace relationships,
according to a recently released survey conducted by Fierce, Inc., leadership
development and training experts. Nearly one in three employees have witnessed
or know of a coworker reprimanded for an inappropriate Facebook post.
Employees may also risk tarnishing professional reputations, with 40 percent
engaging in some form of inappropriate communication with colleagues on
Facebook, such as gossiping or flirting. The survey consists of responses from
almost 800 executives and employees in multiple fields, including healthcare,
retail, manufacturing, education, and financial services.
The social network doesn’t appear to help foster camaraderie in the office
either, as 51.1 percent of employees say Facebook is ineffective at enhancing
work relationships. Of those respondents, 16.3 noted that shared opinions
cause loss of respect for coworkers. Other work-related repercussions of
*53.2 percent of employees feel uncomfortable accepting a friend request
from a manager,
*17.9 percent note that coworkers’ sharing of personal information is
*22.6 percent admit Facebook negatively impacts their productivity.
“Organizations should think very, very carefully about forbidding any
communication or potential team-building tools in the office, whether it be
Facebook, sports fantasy leagues, or political conversations,” said Halley
Bock, CEO and president of Fierce, Inc. “Forward-thinking organizations should
hold exploratory conversations with employees to gather diverse perspectives
on using Facebook at work, then establish clear guidelines which hold
employees able to access the network appropriately.”
Here are three general areas of conversations Fierce recommends companies
should explore with staff in order to navigate Facebook issues and develop
*Friend requesting: Do employees feel comfortable being Facebook friends
with managers? Should supervisors refrain from sending friend requests to
*Sharing of personal information and opinions: What is and is not
appropriate to share on Facebook? Will there be repercussions for posting
inappropriate photos or comments? If so, what are they? Are there policy
inconsistencies between what is acceptable speech in the office and what
is posted on Facebook?
*Time spent on Facebook: What are acceptable time limits for Facebook usage
each day, week, or month? Can employees be permitted free rein during
breaks, at lunch, and before or after established office hours?
Facebook use at work is nearly ubiquitous, with more than eight out of every
10 employees logging onto the social networking site. Despite its almost
universal adoption, more than half of all organizations – 51.6 percent – have
no social media policy. Smart organizations are now considering guidelines
that establish clear social-networking policies for employees to follow.
Leading-edge organizations are fostering multi-perspective conversations about
what is and is not acceptable behavior to best manage work interactions both
on and offline. Such foresight will result in deepening of professional
relationships, workplace innovation, and better bottom-line results.
Fierce, Inc. is an award-winning leadership development and training company
that drives results for business and education by improving workplace
communication. Fierce creates authentic, energizing, and rewarding connections
with colleagues and customers through skillful conversations that lead to
successful outcomes and measurable ROI. Tailored to any organization, Fierce
principles and methods translate across the globe, ensure individual and
collective success, and develop skills that are practical, easy-to-learn and
can be applied immediately. Fierce’s programs have been successfully
implemented at blue-chip companies, non-profits, and educational organizations
worldwide, including Ernst & Young, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, CARE, and
Crate & Barrel. Fierce has received numerous industry and business accolades.
The company has twice been honored as an Inc. 500|5000 company, in 2011 was
named to TrainingIndustry.com’s “Companies to Watch” list, and in 2011 and
2012 selected to Seattle Business magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”
in Washington lists.
Emily Esposito, 206-335-3827
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