Work contracts often focus primarily on what a company wants its employees to do. Spelling out your attendance policy and job performance expectations in an employment contract ensures that your employees understand the obligations of their position with your company.
However, employment contracts can also serve a crucial role by telling workers what the company does not want them to do. Restrictive covenants can add stipulations to an employment contract that prevent employees from engaging in certain behaviors.
Non-disclosure agreements are common restrictive covenants that prohibit workers from sharing your company’s private information with others. There are many compelling reasons why you might want to add a non-disclosure agreement to your standard employment contract.
Workers have never shared as much about their daily tasks as they do now thanks to social media platforms. Employees might post content while on the clock, showing others the inside of your facilities. They might post on their private time and complain about your organization, its clients or its customers, possibly damaging your reputation.
Including a non-disclosure agreement that prevents your workers from talking about the details of their job outside of work and explicitly prohibiting social media posts about their employment can protect your business.
Non-disclosure agreements often don’t just apply to trade secrets and intellectual property. They also apply to someone’s relationships with their coworkers. It has become common practice for people to speak up after leaving a business and trash their former boss or coworkers, possibly alleging racism or sexual harassment.
When those claims garner attention from the media, businesses and members of their management team could find themselves facing cancellation and struggling to protect their brand from long-term damage.
Your competitors might try to snipe one of your workers and get them to share information that gives your company a competitive edge.
Requiring a non-disclosure agreement means that if you learn an employee has gone to a competitor and that competitor now seemingly has your client list or proprietary formula, you can hold that worker responsible for the impact of their behavior on your business.
Thinking about the ways that current employees could damage your company’s future revenue can help you decide what details you need to include in your employment contracts.