Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
May 31, 200910:00 PM

Reputation, Social Media And Your Boss

"60 percent of business executives believe they have a right to know how employees portray themselves and their organizations in online social networks."

That was just one of many insights culled from the third annual Deloitte Ethics & Workplace survey released on May 18th, 2009. With that comes the employee reaction, where 53% responded back that their online social networking activity is not the employer's concern. As the age of the employee skews younger, that statistic rises (63% of 18-34 year old respondents wished their employers would buzz off).

It's going to get a lot more blurry and confusing before there is some semblance of a resolution.

Anytime there is a platform that is open and fairly democratized, institutions and companies more accustomed to "controlling the message" get worried and express the potential for corporate damages that could be associated with employees speaking their minds. In this study, 74% of executives felt that online social networking platforms make it very easy to damage a company's reputation.

"One-third of employees surveyed never consider what their boss or customers might think before posting material online,� said Sharon Allen, chairman of the board, Deloitte LLP. "This fact alone reinforces how vulnerable brands are as a result of the increased use of social networks. As business leaders, it is critical that we continue to foster solid values-based cultures that encourage employees to behave ethically regardless of the venue.�

Do you think Social Media rules and regulations will help or do employers simply need to provide clear guidelines that are in sync with the employees current NDA/employee agreement?

By Mitch Joel