On a lot of blogs I read a little a disclaimer such as (format is from the SAP social media guidelines):
“This [Choose. Blog, Space …] is the personal [Blog, Space …] of [Name] and only contains my personal views, thoughts and opinions. It is not endorsed by [employer] nor does it constitute any official communication of [employer].”
Although I think I understand why this is put on some of these sites, I think it is something that is not really adding any value. The employer is not endorsing or using the site for official communication, however why is this mentioned explicitly? Is the employer afraid of that the employee will damage the brand or the company? Should the employer be afraid of anything harmful that might happen?
No the employer should not worry of bad things that might happen on certain places on the Web that are caused by its employees. At least he should not be worried more than when one of his employees is going to a pub having a beer. I am aware the Web is more permanent in saving information one told, however you do not have to be the one who put the story online. Somebody else can write (or film or record) a great story with all the details about your behavior in the pub after a few beers.
If you have a set of social media guidelines you provide employees a guide how they should behave online. By providing such a guide, you do not need disclaimer, since the employee is already behaving according those guidelines. Employees are great marketeers for your company and your brand, do endorse them and provide them a set of guidelines on how they should behave. Professional and personal lifes are meshed, accept that as an employer, however trust your employees and let them promote and talk about your company. It can do more good than harm, especially if you provided them clear guidelines.
Off course is this item my personal view, it does not necessarily represents the views of my employer 😉