Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Rogue Employee 

One nightmare for organizations is the rogue employee who talks out of turn.  This is what happened recently to National Public Radio (NPR).  An employee who was about to leave the non-profit had lunch with two people who claimed they were from the Muslim Brotherhood and wanted to contribute money to NPR.  Actually, they were plants who taped the employee's remarks throughout the lunch.  The NPR employee made a number of inflammatory remarks that were immediately published.   The employee should have kept his opinions to himself even in private.  That he didn't is an embarrassment for NPR and put the radio network into a difficult position of having to disavow the now ex-employee and all that he said.  Perhaps the most critical of the employee's statements is that NPR would be better off without federal funding.  This opinion came at a time when Congress is trying to cut NPR's funding, and NPR has started a campaign to keep it.  There isn't much organizations can do to rein in employees, but this incident is another warning that in the internet age, one is always public, even in private.  NPR is now scrambling to fix this PR faux pas.

Update:  The first victim of the rogue employee was the NPR CEO.


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