Deciding whether to friend your boss on Facebook takes careful thought. On one hand, they’ll be able to learn everything about you that’s posted for all to see. On the other hand, gaining insight into your boss’s life and letting them into yours may help you build rapport and improve your work performance.
Here are three things to consider before friending your boss on Facebook.
What Does Company Policy Say About Social Media Connections?
Find out whether your company has guidelines and standards regarding social media. In some cases, supervisors cannot post recommendations or endorsements for staff. Colleagues may be prevented from posting recommendations or endorsements for colleagues or staff. Colleagues and potential/former employees might be discouraged from connecting. Even if your organization allows connections on social media, you still need to maintain confidentiality, employee privacy and brand integrity because you’re an ambassador for the company. If you decide to become friends with your boss on Facebook, let them initiate the invitation. Or, if you see they’re friends with colleagues, you can initiate the invitation.
Do You Want Your Boss to Know Your Personal Life?
It’s your choice whether you want your boss to know what you do during your personal time. They’ll be able to see everything you post or are tagged in. Your boss will learn about which animal you’re obsessed with, where you go for worship and what your political affiliation is. They’ll see your pictures from Sunday brunch, vacations, and the last party you went to. If you decide to friend your boss on Facebook, be sure you remove any information, pictures or videos you don’t want them to see. Instead, post pictures and videos that show how you’re actively involved in the community and what your hobbies are. Be sure to adjust your privacy settings so you can approve what friends tag you in before it appears on your timeline.
How Much Should You Engage With Your Boss?
If you decide to friend them, you’ll need to interact with them. Engagement should be similar to your personal relationship with your boss. If you’ve talked about their kids and they post a family picture, you could like and/or comment on it to build rapport. Or, if you notice a picture of your boss celebrating their daughter’s birthday, you might ask how it went. Bring up such information in moderation so your boss doesn’t think you’re paying too much attention to their personal life or trying to gain favoritism at work.
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