Do your employees have blogs?
There is an interesting thing happening in the business world. The Internet has allowed people to take their voices to the world. People are tweeting and posting messages on Facebook. Privacy has become a loose term in the world and people are sharing what they want about anything going on in their lives.
It puts business owners in an interesting place.
For this article we’ll just focus on the aspect of employee blogging. I was reminded of the topic last night after seeing this tweet from a guy I’m happy to know and a very successful business owner.
OH: "We have a corporate policy against blogging."
— Jeremy Dearringer (@PapaNewPro) June 27, 2012
I had to respond. My first reaction was that this was 2012 and companies are still fighting for control over their employees in this way.
But let’s take a step back. Actually, I’ll take a step back here and try to analyze the situation from your angle, the angle of the business owner or manager.
As with anything there is always fear of what will happen. Part of what makes you great as a business owner is your ability to analyze risk. There is a certain risk with employee blogging. You hire folks you know will be great employees. They commit to their jobs and perform well. Your company pays them a good salary and benefits and in return you make profit off the employee’s work. It’s been the way things work for ages.
The fear comes in as the employee’s freedom becomes public. In the past employees have always had their freedom. They always had opinions and interests in other things. It’s just that now those interests have occasionally turned to the online world.
If your employees have a blog it can be scary, but as the business owner you don’t have control over what they publish. In the old days you had some control or some perception of control because people had less public lives or at least it appeared that way.
We talk about trust here on the blog quite a bit and quite a bit in the past few months. We know today that blogging is about earning the trust of your target audience or target customers.
If employees are blogging it’s necessary to let them go a little bit. There has to be a level of trust that they understand that they’re representing the company just as much as they’re representing themselves. It’s impossible to think you really have control over what people do in their own time. The one card you have to play is to fire them if something happens. That’s the facts.
The way I see it is that modern day work involves somewhat of a public lifestyle for people. The Internet has allowed people to access others all over the world in various forms. Blogging has many benefits for people including connecting with others or building their own brand and improving their lives in personal and professional ways.
I support blogging.
Sure, it’s a little scary, but after doing some thinking I feel the pros far outweigh the cons. As a matter of fact I think the cons are really false barriers in the first place.
What are the benefits?
Blogging shows you that your employees really care about something. They’re passionate and excited about connecting and improving. That’s the sign of a great employee in my book.
My recommendation to you is to let your employees blog or whatever it is they do on the Internet. It’s almost always a great benefit for them and if they’re improving then your company is improving along with them.
There’s a little risk, but as any business person knows it’s all about taking on a little risk sometimes with the idea that the reward can be great. With employee blogging there can be great reward.
What’s the next step for you?
As your employee if they want to write for the company blog :)