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You’re Banned From Changing My Mind…at Work!

Jan 24

Did you see Facebook’s internal announcement to their employees about banning an employee’s ability to change the mind of a co-worker about Politics and Religion? I think I need to use these for my family get togethers!

An internal memo was leaked (God Bless internal memo links) from Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer on some new workplace rules that Facebook is putting into effect immediately on all communication channels, and they are:

  1. Don’t insult, bully, or antagonize others
  2. Don’t try to change someone’s politics or religion
  3. Don’t break our rules about harassing speech and expression

Sorry workplace trolls at Facebook, your Employee Experience just took a major blow! (BTW “Workplace Trolls” is a great podcast name)

As you can imagine I have a few thoughts on this!

My actual first reaction to this had nothing to do with “the rules”, but had everything to do with who was communicating this message! Why is this coming from the CTO and not the CEO or CHRO? Definitely different than most organizations.

This tells me one of two things: 1. The CTO made these up on his own; and/or 2. Facebook’s leadership team wanted to make this seem like it wasn’t that big of a deal, so let’s not have it come from the CEO or CHRO, which normally would handle formal employee communications like this.

This is a bit of an employee experience course correction that I think we’ll start seeing in many organizations over the next couple of years with a softer economy. In an ultra-low unemployment economy the inmates run the asylum.

As we back to a bit of normal unemployment environment, employers will focus less on becoming a playground you get paid to attend, and more of a ‘back to work’ mentality. You shouldn’t have time to berate Billy all day because he worships Pokemon. Get your a$$ back to work!

Over the past couple of years with #MeToo and Trump, our workplaces have become littered with landmines of employee strife. We want and value inclusion, and at the same time this increases the communication issues and the need for rules like Facebook are instituting.

So, what do you think? Does your workplace need to adopt rules like this?

3 Comment to “You’re Banned From Changing My Mind…at Work!”

  1. I don’t think any company needs to establish rules. What they do need is reflect on their values and how they are living up to them. For example Doesn’t valuing diversity also mean diversity of thought? Is bullying anyone how we communicate how we want to treat people?

    Jan 24, 2019
    • Darla,

      Totally agree, on the FB front though I think one of the issues is it’s not inclusive, but exclusive. Think like us, or you are thinking wrong. In this case, it’s people who lean conservatively are thinking wrong being among a majority who think more liberally.

      In that kind of environment, it then becomes not lets all value each other’s thoughts, opinions, and beliefs. Let’s all just shut our mouths and get back to work! 😉

      T

      Jan 24, 2019
  2. I don’t think any company needs to establish rules. What they do need is reflect on their values and how they are living up to them. For example, Doesn’t valuing diversity also mean diversity of thought? Is bullying anyone how we communicate how we want to treat people?

    Jan 24, 2019

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