Blogs by HR people

Has anyone had one of their employees in HR have a personal blog (admittedly or not)? I don't mean contributory on Facebook or anything, but a separate personal blog? Any issues with it?


  • 7 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • edited August 2015 PMVote Up0Vote Down
    I've written about this issue on our Technology for HR blog. Here is a post that may help you out: Off-Duty Employee Blogging: Business Concern or None of Your Business?

    Have you had an employee come to you asking if it's OK to start a personal blog? Have you found out an employee has a personal blog and is using it as a place to talk about work?
  • What I am also curious about in this situation is that I recently discovered there was a "forum" type blog (similar to what's here on that existed many years ago for our manufacturing plant of roughly 300 or so people. As a trusted member of the H/R Department, I have a lot of people talk to me confidentially but I still don't think they're sharing everything. So, my question is would it be a good idea to re-establish this blog where staff members retain anonymity? How would I even publicize that fact, even in secret? I'm not going for gossip or who's "hooking up" or whatever. I actually just want to know what's going on with the process and how people feel about it. For example, if you have an idea to improve the process and there was an anonymous forum to post something, "I wish they would do such-and-such but no one ever listens to me!" Maybe it's actually a good idea and I can do something about it ..... opinions?
  • There's probably a good reason for why that employee forum is no longer active and, if I were in your shoes, I believe that I'd let that sleeping dog lie.

    If you moved forward with the employee forum and noticed employees chatting about their working conditions, for example, what would you do? How would you respond to that? Would a response from HR or management be interference with employees' "protected concerted activity" rights?

    I hate being a wet blanket but I just see all kinds of employee relations issues and, personally, wouldn't go down that path.

    Just my two cents.


    PS: Another option for anonymous employee feedback could be a suggestion box, if you don't already have one.
  • I agree with Sharon on the forum issue - I definitely wouldn't revive it for the same reasons she mentions. I have always found the good old suggestion box to be quite helpful for airing grievances/asking questions.

    As to the original post - I myself have a personal blog, and I am extremely careful not to mention my employer, the city I work in, or anything that could remotely connect me to my job. I have also been a blog contributor for HR-related matters, and if the blog asks for my company information, I get the post approved by our media department first.

    In addition to our confidentiality agreement, our electronics policy states that the following types of behaviors are unacceptable:
    - Sending or posting confidential material, trade secrets, or proprietary information outside of the organization to an unapproved party (includes personal e-mail).
    - Sending or posting messages or material that could damage ***'s image or reputation, disparage another organization’s products or services, or defame or slander other individuals. This includes passing off personal views as representing those of the organization.

    I don't see any harm in individuals in HR (or other departments) engaging in social media as long as the Company isn't harmed in the process, and policies are in place to talk about what is and is not acceptable.
  • I think Coffee and Sharon are right on point with their comments about an anonymous employee forum. I have one thing to add.

    I've participated in several forums, and I've noticed that anonymity brings out a nasty side in some people. They say things they would never say face to face (hopefully). I think some believe that what happens online isn't really real so they can joke and say things that are out of line.

    Also, humor doesn't always translate when it's written, and that holds especially true for sarcastic comments typed out in haste. Even if you monitored the forum, things can get out of hand quickly. One employee's offhand remark can offend another and then rash words are exchanged. Even if the initial remark was innocent and misinterpreted, the whole exchange is saved forever in the metadata. And an employee's attorney can use it during a harassment or discrimination claim.

    It's great that you want employees to be able to give feedback and discuss issues in a way that makes them feel safe to be honest. I like the idea of the suggestion box a lot.

    If you want to do something online, I think you could set up some sort of electronic bulletin board to get feedback and employee participation in problem solving. HR would need to control the board and what is posted, but you could set it up so employees can submit ideas/thoughts/rants anonymously and then you can filter them and ask for other employees to respond when appropriate.

  • Check out something like Yammer.
  • I took a peek at the Yammer website (a thank you to Frank for the suggestion) and it seems to be similar to our intranet site which is not the same as an employee forum. Yammer looks like something that could be worth investigating further if you don't already have an intranet.

    Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!

    Sharon **==
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