Why, in an evolved society, would we need a policy that prohibited employees from making “disparaging comments” about the company that pays their check? It's our team.  Why would we join a team, only to destroy it? Why haven't our governance programs provided a safe place to bring forward workplace issues and handle complaints?  Do we all lack the impulse control to realize that it's wrong to bad mouth our co-workers, friends, and family? Wouldn't it be simpler to just go work for the competition?  Why can't people just find an employer they like, and then support them?

If you really don't like how owners run their operations, there is always one full proof response.  Don't cash their check.  Don't support people you don't like.  When we stay with people we can't respect, not only do our actions tell the world that this is a great place to work, the disparity in our feelings and our actions is what leads us to act out.  No job is perfect, and people should stay as long as there are ways for improving the situation.  But if it seems like you need to be told these following policies in order to know how to behave, it's really time for you to set a date and leave.  The problem with horrible bosses is that people don't move on.  They just continue to cash that check.  The more people stay, the more we think that any variety of disrespectful workplace behaviors are acceptable.

So here are some recommended policies, that apparently we actually need to say.

A policy to:

  • prohibit employees from disclosing or communicating confidential, sensitive or non-public information concerning the company on or through company property to anyone outside the company without prior approval.
  • prohibit the use of the company’s name, logo or service marks outside the course of business without prior approval.
  • prohibit employees from publishing any representation about the company without prior approval.
  • require social networking site communications be made in an honest, professional and appropriate manner, without defamatory or inflammatory comments regarding the employer, its shareholders, officers, employees, customers, suppliers, contractors, and patients.
  • require approval before employees could identify themselves as the employer’s employees and then require them to further state that their comments were their own personal opinions and did not necessarily reflect the employer’s opinions.
Why do we need to say this to people who are taking our money in exchange for performing duties in support of the organization?  Did we miss something in our hiring process?  Would this work if we swapped information about the individual for the corporation?
Let's try it:
A policy to:
  • prohibit the employee from disclosing confidential, sensitive or non-public information concerning the employee to anyone outside of the company.

Doesn't that sound ridiculous?  An employer wouldn't waste time writing on a facebook page about an employee.  They'd just fire the employee.   We need to show our bad employees the same respect.  Just fire them.