Social Media and the Employee Conundrum

John Jantsch asks a great question, Do you have a Social Media Non-Compete?

Another question might be, “Can a company enforce a social media non-compete?” Courts have traditionally frowned upon restrictions placed by employers on their employees’ right to find and make a living. Since more and more companies are being compelled to utilize social media and encourage their employees to participate, how can we expect ex-employees not to?

It’s a conundrum for companies, but in all honesty I’m glad companies are having to face some of these difficult challenges. Gold watches are becoming less and less commonplace as employees turn over more often.

There’s no such thing as loyalty anymore at companies… they’ll dump a few hundred employees without blinking if it will help give their stock prices a little bump. Employees have become resistant to being faithful to their employers, recognizing that their next big raise will probably come when they move to their next employer.

As a result, no one even measures the impact of employee turnover anymore on customer service, quality, or even a company’s success. Social media may be changing this. Social media puts the employee’s face front and center… companies are becoming known for their employees instead of being faceless logos and slogans.

For quite some time human resources have only been viewed as a company’s largest expense, not typically valued for the sacrifices they’ve made to ensure the success and growth of the company. That credit was always given to the board room.

Just as consumers are being empowered by social media to make companies perform and listen, now employees are empowered as well as they represent the companies they work for. This is requiring companies to rethink who they’re hiring, how well they treat their employees, and how to handle employees in the spotlight.

Perhaps the days of gold watches and employee anniversaries will return!

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