It used to be simple. As a manager, your management style, activities, and occasional corrective actions were largely contained within your company. Today, social media provides a mechanism for both direct and stealth broad-based communication from your employees about your management practices. The guaranteed privacy of the closed-door interaction is gone, and your management practices are subject to public rebuke, not only from your subordinates, but also from staff across the company, your upward management, and potential employees.

The potential consequences are material. A candidate interviewing with your company could ultimately choose to work for another company, citing concerns of having to work for managers with similar management styles as yours. The manner in which your employees interact with you could change, resulting in your ability to effectively manage being compromised. Also, your company could label you as a troubled manager, impacting your career progression, and making you tentative, resulting in a decrease in overall management effectiveness.

“The reality is social media renders corporate enforcement futile”

An initial reaction could be for you to ask your company to more aggressively enforce standard confidentially agreements signed at the time of employment. Also, you might speak with your team, warning them that disclosing internal matters on social media is not acceptable and could result in contract termination. These actions might seem likely to have a positive result, but the reality is that social media offers enough stealth to render them futile.

Thus, the most effective solution to negative publicity on social medial lies with you. You have to reinvent your management style such that you get positive employee feedback rather than negative. In essence, you have to consider your interactions as if you have no confidentiality. For many managers, this requires a material change in management style.

Satisfaction guarantees…

We are more likely to fill out a comment card for interactions that resulted in uncertainty, anger, and disappointment. On the converse, when we are satisfied, we find little motivation to comment. When driving, we only honk at idiots.

This satisfaction paradigm is how managers can avoid the social media issues described above. An overall satisfied team won’t give isolated negative social media posts any broad-based traction, unlike an unhappy subordinate group looking for a bandwagon to jump on. Additionally, their peers in a well-managed and clearly measured team recognize poor performing subordinates, as they create extra work for everyone else.

Social media is still an emergent phenomenon in general and more specifically as it relates to managers and how they function in the workplace. Some level of management style modification is almost certain to occur.

Originally published by Meetthebosstv at