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He Said What!?

Writer Brené Brown said: “The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness even our wholeheartedness actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls”.

This resonated with me because moments before I had been reading an article about Donald Trump and his series of tweets criticising China’s monetary policy and operations in the South China Sea. Trump has certainly had a number of falls these past few years but he hasn’t tried to hide them. Perhaps that’s why he’s President-elect. Mind you Danielle Muscato has given him a bit of a run for his money over the last day or two over his grumpy tweets about being parodied by Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live.

People seem to think that they can post whatever they like on social media without there being any repercussions. But there are. A client of ours had an employee who had put inappropriate remarks about her colleagues on social media whilst off sick. The posts stated that she wanted to ‘chop off their heads’. It didn’t say by name who ‘they’ were but the team worked it out by the letters she had left after the comment. The posts related to a number of different team members.

There were a few similar posts, all offensive and completely inappropriate. After some careful investigation, it came to light that the employee was very unwell at the time she had made the comments. As she got better the employer met with her to discuss coming back to work. She told the employer that she was feeling a lot better. When the comments were mentioned she didn’t seem to think it was that much of a big deal. She certainly showed no remorse and no inclination to apologise or build bridge with her colleagues.

After it was proposed that she would come back to work, senior management received a letter from the rest of the team stating that if she came back they would all leave. The employee had the audacity to say she didn’t understand why her colleagues didn’t want her back! Formal action was taken to deal with the matter and she was dismissed for SOSR (she was unacceptable to her colleagues).

This was an extreme case but your employees need to be aware that inappropriate social media postings will not be tolerated and will be dealt with formally.

Here are some tips on managing the impact of social media in the workplace.

  • Create a social media policy. The policy should outline what is and what isn’t an acceptable usage of social media in the workplace. This could include rules on when and how an employee should access social networking websites during the working day.
  • Explain to your employees that although they have a right to a private life, their personal social media profiles should protect your company’s and your employees’ confidentiality and reputation.
  • Disciplinary action. Make it clear that you exercise the right to reasonably monitor employees’ internet use and any access to the web may be withdrawn if they breach these rules.

We deal with the good, the bad and the ugly of HR. If you need help resolving problems with keyboard warrior employees or any other HR issues, give us a call on 01908 262628.

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