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Enforcing Employee Ethics in Online Social Networks Era

Patricia Harned | May 27, 2009

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about a conversation I had with a manager from a community credit union. His staff included many enthusiastic and energetic young employees. They enjoyed each other’s company at the office and often socialized outside of work. And sometimes their socializing got a little out of hand.

The partying was never too terrible; think “Animal House,” not “A Clockwork Orange.” But it put the manager in an awkward position. The town they all lived in was small, so everyone knew everyone else’s business.

So the manager was left wondering whether he had a right (or even an obligation) to monitor, and sometimes halt, his employees’ off-hours behavior. He also wanted to know if he could do anything to help his employees behave during off-hours like the mature, responsible professionals they were during the workday.

It’s been five years since my conversation with that manager, but his “small town”...

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