Often, employers want employees to have the impression that they care about them. Caring for employees can come in degrees for different workplaces and bosses.
You may think that the easiest way to show your employees that you care is by following them or “friending” them on social media. While you may have good intentions, involving yourself in your staff’s personal lives can create difficult situations.
These are some of the do’s and do not’s of engaging in social media with your employees.
Create firm boundaries
Even if you are willing to share your personal life with your staff, they should not feel obligated to share theirs with you. Your employees may not be doing anything “wrong,” but they should be able to have a complete break from work when they leave their job.
If your employees need to use social media for their position, make sure you have clear boundaries and communicate them to your employees. Just as there are parts of your personal life that you may not want to share with your staff, your employees should have the same boundary.
Do not snoop
Depending on the employee, it can be tempting to check their social media pages to see if they have told you the truth about a day off or if they are talking about you on social media. The employee you catch enjoying a day in the sun might have been in desperate need of a mental break from more than just their job.
Simply, your employees will feel uncomfortable if you follow them on social media. Often, employees will feel too uncomfortable to say “no” if you ask to connect on social media. Understandably, knowing the boss might see pictures you posted five years ago could get awkward for anyone.
Depending on your industry, you may want to add an employee to your career network. In those situations, consider a platform that is geared toward that goal rather than one that is purely for socialization.