Is It Ok to Be Friends With an Employee on Facebook?

An employee friends you on Facebook. Is it ok to accept the request, or should you deny it?

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Dade County, Future Force knows that thanks to social media, there’s a whole new world of etiquette issues and  legal pitfalls to deal with in the workplace. To help you handle this situation with care, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Is it worth the risk?

If you’re someone who only posts once in a while, or when you do post, it’s typically benign statements or images, this might not be an issue. But if you regularly talk about politics and religion, your next status update could cause issues in the workplace if you and one of your employees don’t see eye to eye. So you have to ask yourself whether it’s worth the risk.

Do you talk about work often?

If you’re regularly posting about how much you hate Mondays, or the mistakes your employees make, then it’s probably not a good idea to be friends with your staff members on Facebook. Not only will it strain your working relationships, but it could have legal ramifications, as well.

Are you ready to give up your privacy?

Once you start be-friending employees on Facebook, you’re going to be giving up some measure of your privacy. If you post regularly, your people will now be able to see what you do on weekends and during the evening. Are you prepared for them to have that window into your world?

Have you posted inappropriate content in the past?

Once you accept a friend request, your employee can then go into your profile and see those drunk photos you posted of last weekend’s big party. This can seriously undermine your authority at work.

Have you given applications permission to post updates?

If you have, then your employees may be able to see all those crops you watered in Farmville last week when you were supposed to be at an important client meeting. If you don’t want employees seeing these kinds of updates, you need to de-activate notifications before accepting their friend requests.

The decision is up to you when it comes to whether or not to be friends with employees on Facebook. But clearly, it can wreak all sorts of havoc if you don’t take the right approach. That’s why it’s important to ask yourself the above questions – and be honest with your answers – before clicking the “accept” button.

Need help with these and other HR or staffing issues? Call the experts at Future Force. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Dade County, we’ve helped thousands of clients overcome their HR and staffing hassles. And we can help you too! Contact Future Force today to learn more.