It seems that almost everyone has a blog today . Blogs are are the new “Coronation Street”. People may not talk to their neighbors anymore . However they may well be following their online blog. Yet that blog roll may well spill the beans about what should be considered private and confidential workplace matters as well as proprietary if not trade secrets and procedures at the firm and home office.
Blogs are here , there and everywhere. Their growth in numbers and prevalence to say the least is almost sky-high. Yet who is minding the store .? Are your employees “blogging behind your back” ? about corporate secrets ? Perhaps they are even shielding their identities online through well acceptedGuest Blogging Websites so that their identities can not be easily tracked back to your business and specific employees who are “ratting on you”.
In spite of the fact held , by most business people over the age of 40 , that having a web page , and hosting a webpage is an expensive matter this is not so. Such “authorities ” are misinformed to say the least. You might even hear them say about some crackpot relative “Where does he get off having his own webpage ?” , this is downright wrong. A blog is of little cost , or in most cases free of charge. If you can type on a standard office word processor – such as Microsoft Office , or Open Office , then you are entirely capable of being the webmaster of a blog. Failing that there is no law saying that you can not post comments on other people blogs , replying to their questions , concerns and postings. The employee posting blog replies may think that they are doing a good and valuable tasking – simply adding value and information to any given blog.
As an employer or consultant you need to be aware of the blogs and postings of current staff on the job , as well as former employees , who may well be disgruntled , and who even go by pseudonyms. Some disgruntled employees who did not their jobs , disliked management or both have gone so far as to join Guest Blogging Website services so as to maintain anonymity .
What should management , employers and supervisor do to prevent such damage and havoc ? What steps and procedures be implemented and firmly in place ?
First, create an environment where information and ideas are freely exchanged in your organization. This will allow employees with personal issues and opinions to feel free to express them within the parameters of the organization. It would be much easier to deal with it here than when its goes to the web.
Most likely at this point , no one in H.R. or management has provided an official listing when it comes to the rules of the game concerning blogs and blogging by staff. How else are your staff to know. People do not always like rules but they sure like to know where they stand , what is allowed and what is not tolerated. At least there is a yardstick against which they can be measured .
Also, require employees to sign a non-disclosure contract as a standard in employment. And ensure that older employees as well as new hires are required to sign this form. As part of this policy make it clear that release of confidential corporate information is legal grounds for immediate dismissal from the firm and set policies and guidelines that prohibit employees from publishing defamatory blogs about your business, co-workers or clients.
Blogs in today’s business world are a two edged sword some people have even be found . Used well they can promote your business , organization and website presence. Your awareness on the world wide web can improve , you can develop targeted niche customers and followers. You can enhance your corporate , company or groups inherent image immensely. Blogs involve customers in a community – both for good for bad. They may even see your product or service as “theirs” and “theirs to uphold and protect”. All in all in the internet marketing world these weblogs are playing an increasing role in search engine positioning , whether it is the search engine ranking results (SERPs) of Google, Yahoo & Bing (formerly MSN ). Why take a chance of a loose cannon diminishing all your careful efforts . Monitor your employee’s blogs. Take the time to set standards and rules when it comes to hirelings, operatives and former staff employee members , when it comes to online blogs and blogging.