|Employee of the Month Reserved Parking Sign (Photo credits: myparkingsign.com)|
Their activities can either complement a company's own brand image or clash with it. Companies that fail to make room for co-branded employees—or worse yet, embrace them without thinking through the implications—risk alienating or losing their best employees, or confusing or even burning their corporate brand.
increasingly, companies are recognizing that these activities have a business value. When a management consultant leads a large LinkedIn group, he builds a valuable source of referrals and recruitment prospects; when a lawyer tweets the latest legal news, she positions her firm as the go-to experts in that field. How can an employer resist? And yet, there is a downside: Co-branded employees can raise tough questions about how to contain their online activities—and how to compensate them.
It also isn't easy for managers to balance responsibilities among the bloggers and nonbloggers within a team. And it takes an effort to make sure employees' brands align with the company's.