Do We Need a Manager’s Guide to Employee Social Media?

I have to confess, I’m not a user of Facebook. I’m an avid blogger, casual Twitterer (btw, what do you call someone who Tweets?), and use LinkedIn for professional networking. So when it comes to workplace managerial guidelines for Facebook, I’m clueless.

However, as the father of two avid Facebook users and now that I work at a college, I have some credible sources for Facebook workplace horror stories.

One of these sources showed me a story from the Huffington Post called “The Funniest Facebook Snafus of All Time”. Apparently, some dolt had some unflattering things to say about her boss, forgetting that her boss was also her Facebook friend. He responded to her comment with a scathing rebuttal and fired her.

Wow. Can you really fire someone on Facebook?  Is there some kind of Donald Trump button?

Here’s another real life scenario I came across lately:

Employee calls in sick. Employee’s coworkers see that employee has posted a status update bragging about what an awesome day she has planned for her day off. Coworkers, not being Ferris Bueller fans, aren’t too happy about having to pick up her workload.

What should they do? “Like” it, so she knows she’s busted? Print out a copy and leave it on her desk? Tell their manager?

If they did tell the manager, then what should the manager do? Treat it as “private” information, as if it doesn’t exist, and ignore it? Confront the employee? Hire a private investigator to take pictures of the employee going to a Cubs game or art gallery on company time?

Managers, you’d better be ready to deal with these wacky scenarios, because you’ve got a whole generation of employees bringing a set of cultural norms into the workplace that never existed before.

What about it, readers? Are there managerial dos and don’ts when it comes to social media? Or is it too soon to write them?

Should a manager just apply “common sense”, the same as we do with phones, or when the internet first arrived in the workplace?

Something tells me this is different, especially when it comes to Facebook.

Does anyone have an example of a progressive workplace social media policy (other than the usual, i.e., doing it on company time, divulging trade secrets, etc…)? How about a blog post that seems to nail it that you could point us to?

Finally, how about sharing your best workplace Facebook snafu?

I don’t have a “top ten” list for this one, just a lot of questions. Thanks.