“We’ve had kids freak out if they
can’t get to their text every 15
minutes,” said Bob Graczyk, vice
president of human resources
for QuickChek Corp. But QuickChek’s policy is firm: No cell
phone use on the store floor.
“Not while you’re clocked in,
only on breaks and at lunch. And
that includes people visiting from
the support center,” he said.
The rule is tied to the com-
pany’s customer service policy,
he said. “If you’re using the cell
phone you’re not serving custom-
ers. Have you ever been in a store
with an employee on the phone
while they’re trying to wait on
you? It’s rude.”
Employee training reinforces
the reasons for the policy. “We’re
not brutal about it,” Graczyk add-
ed. “But if there’s repeated use,
you’re not going to work here.”
Aliah Wright, author of A Nec-
essary Evil: Managing Employee
Activity on Facebook, Twitter,
LinkedIn…and the Hundreds of
Other Social Media Sites, has a
different take on cell phones.
“The device is not the issue.
Even if an employee doesn’t have
a device, the person can walk
away, go for a smoke,” she said,
and not complete the required
work. A company might choose
to have a blanket policy, she
added, but “I don’t know that you
need to have a policy if you don’t
Whatever the policy, “treat
people like adults” or “people feel
like they are in jail. If the store is
empty, I don’t see anything wrong
in using it to check on something
or to ask questions. As adults, we
should all know how we should
do our job and know when it’s
distracting,” Wright said.
employment, according to Wright. However, she cites an article in a 2012 issue of HR Magazine: “In non-union shops employers can still include policies in employee handbooks that
prohibit workers from engaging in activities or communications that damage the company and its reputation. Individual
gripes and complaints not made in relation to group activity
among employees are not protected” under the National Labor Relations Act.
Write It Down
Quik Trip, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a “stickler” for pro-
tecting its brand, according to spokesman Mike Thornbrugh.
Employees “can’t do anything with the QuikTrip logo, can’t
promote themselves as a spokesperson,” he said. “We take the
trademark issue very seriously. We pay close attention to it.”
The company has a written social media policy that
“makes very clear the expectations of the company. It lays
out the standards we expect employees to follow,” Thorn-
brugh said. “If you engage in social networking, that’s your
right but don’t misrepresent the company. It all goes back to
At QuickChek, the policy is “intended to remind people
to be respectful to customers, team members and partners.
Do not disclose confidential information…Don’t reference
any company business,” Graczyk said. “Any posting should
clearly state that these are your opinions and not those of the
company. What you do on your own time is your business.”
Any use of social media “should never interfere with the
commitment to the job,” Graczyk added. “We teach this when
people start with us. We put it our handbook…. Every year peo-
ple sign off on the policy as a reminder” that violations can re-
sult in “disciplinary action up to and including termination.”
“It doesn’t happen a whole lot,” according to Graczyk, but
sometimes “people get ticked off at somebody and put stupid
stuff on the Web. I sit here and think ‘what were you think-
ing?’ It goes up and we call them in.” It becomes a conversa-
tion — with company policy to back it up.
Stephenie Overman is a workplace writer who is based in the
Washington, D.C., area.
It all goes