09 November 2023 |

💼 personal vs. professional

By Hebba Youssef

✍🏽 How do I handle an employee who has a visible and public social media account with a lot of followers and is VERY open and shares A LOT about her personal life on her public page?

Context: Small NPO in a conservative area. We support gov, biz, & community leaders, CEOs, Unis, other NPOs. Funding comes from donations. I support her and she has every right to share her life but we still have to be aware of our publicity as an organization. Help!

📣 Jennifer Dawson, Chief People Officer at StartOut:

This may not be helpful if this is considered an urgent issue, but I would recommend coming up with a social media and/or public engagement policy that addresses this. I don’t recommend trying to control employee’s social media activity if it is truly personal activity and not tying to their professional profiles, but you can put some policies in place like requiring that they not share their employer and if they share opinions, explicitly stating that it is only their personal opinion and not on behalf of their employer, etc.

📣 Jessica Winder, SVP of People at Refine Labs: 

We opted for a more casual “suggestion chat” rather than a full-on crackdown when discussing this. Since it was an employee’s personal Instagram, the conversation aimed at offering advice rather than imposing strict rules. Thankfully, they were understanding and open to the suggestions.

✍🏽 Workplace dress codes: Who gets to decide what is “appropriate” while allowing for personal expression? Finding the balance between feminism, real-world misogyny, and freedom of expression. And how to talk about it with staff.

Context: 11 employees, marketing firm, all women and gender non-conforming folks.

📣 Manaan Alexander, Operations Lead at CommandBar:

This is a tough question but I think I would start by asking the “why” behind wanting to implement a dress code. Sounds like they might have client facing teammembers so there could be an answer like – “We work with lots of different companies and want to make sure our clients feel xyz so we’d like to implement some rules of the road for client facing work” – this might be especially important if you do work in a more traditional sector. Or is this question coming from inside the company where someone feels uncomfortable, etc. Once you can answer the why, it’ll be easier to figure out what next steps you need to take.

📣 Laura García-Courrau, Global Director of HR at Our World Energy: 

Agreed 100% with Manaan. The course of action should be dictated by the root cause of this ask.

📣 Jessica Winder, SVP of People at Refine Labs: 

Here is what I’ve used in a previous Culture Playbook – not sure of the culture/tone of your company but this worked for us.

Alright, team, listen up. We’re all adults here, so let’s keep it real. When you’re on the clock, dress like you mean business. That means no frayed jeans, offensive tees, or anything that makes HR raise an eyebrow. We’re not spelling out every little detail, because we trust you to use that adult judgment. Clean, neat, and professional—that’s the look. Got it? Good. Let’s show the world we mean business without the dress-up drama.”


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👥 November 15th: Safe Space member Mariel Davis, Co-Founder at Spokn, is hosting an interactive session to provide practical tips and creative ideas to grow your ERG community!

🎧 I Hate It Here Podcast: I’ve been releasing new episodes of my podcast with some pretty amazing guests! Check it out on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts!

🔗 Hirefor Partnership: HireFor makes your life easier when it comes to recruiting (and Safe Space members get a HUGE discount).

💰Pay Transparency matters (but it’s also difficult). That’s why I created this course to help you stay ahead of the curve.

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