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Facebook is Risky Business for Leaders

Facebook is Risky Business for Leaders…A friend request from whom?

Imagine Mary Manager’s chagrin when she overheard two of her employees talking about her weekend – the one she just spent with her girlfriends…. The conversation went something like this.

“Hey Fred, did you see what our very own prim and proper (in air quotes), Mary Manager was up to this weekend?”

“ No” said, Fred. What did I miss?” John turns and opens his Facebook account. He points to Mary Manager’s scantily clad beach pictures that she posted to her Facebook timeline following her wild and crazy weekend with the girls.  

Fred asked, “How in the world did you get all that stuff?”

John replies, “I sent Mary a Friend Request and she accepted! I didn’t really think she would. I guess she doesn’t realize that I can see everything she posts. Lucky me, huh?”

Accepting friend requests from your subordinates on Facebook, or on any other social networking site, is very risky business. It may seem like a harmless way to develop a good working relationship with your employees but it opens you up to a disclosing a wealth of information that you’d probably rather not have your employees know. Not only does this type of social media relationship blur the firm line you should keep between employer and employee, but also it can be downright embarrassing. Just ask Mary.