Employees continually sharing tweets and Facebook posts during work hours, paint your company in the light they see. However profanity has been an increasing concern raised by employers in tweets of employees.

Does this call for social media monitoring of employee posts by organisations or banning use of social media during work hours? What are your options from HR perspective?

Concerns regards employee tweets are well-founded and one of the reasons many companies are using social media monitoring is to administer negative remarks by employees impacting the overall company brand image.

Considering the fact how fast salacious gossip travels, it is time for HR managers to wake up and decide on how to protect company interests from potential brand damaging tweets, through employee channels with negative perceptions.

We all know by now, everything that gets published on social media through individual channels stays there forever.

Here are some recommendations for companies to act quickly and implement comprehensive social media policy. Once social media policy is finalised and implemented, human resource professionals can always refer to this document and necessitate action in case any employee violates the rules.

HR professionals can further deal effectively with any controversial statements posted by employees on social media that defames company’s brand perception.

To develop a well-detailed social media policy, you can also source help and advice from individual consultants to professional organisations and outside legal counsel, who help sort the HR issues arising out of defaming social media posts.

See: Corporate HR Departments Go Spying to Monitor Employees

Dealing with myriad communication challenges presented by the online medium and various other channels requires a tactful approach, these are:

  • Spell out the new clearly defined fundamentals of company’s social media policy to every employee. Make sure the document is simplistically worded such that all information gets digested by the employees at one go. Stick with policy’s fundamental tenets, and outcomes if someone violates them or ignores warnings repeatedly.
  • Give reasons on events that led you to formulate such policies within a company and why you have called upon employees across all levels for a discussion. Avoid highlighting employee’s defamatory remarks in this session, and shaming someone publicly as this will not just induce fear but de-motivate the workforce. Cite examples from other company’s case histories, wherein strict actions were initiated against employee who violates social media norms.
  • Address the post announcement Q&A with an informal approach and encourage feedback to gauge employees’ reactions to such strict implementation, monitoring their use of social media at work in a way. Also solicit ideas for spreading this initiative across different business units of a company and how to improvise on the points untouched in detail.

The key to handling profane social media posts by employees is through understanding reasons on what made a particular employee pass a negative comment or remark about the company on social media?

Instead inducing fear, develop a healthy communication relationship with employees to understand their expectations on job and how companies can improvise their workplace culture to create a thriving environment with upbeat spirits for one and all.

Also read: Do’s and Don’ts on Tracking Employee Productivity


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