This week has, once again, seen business news stories on the negative impact of social media.
One was a coffee shop owner who used a picture that didn’t quite send the message that he was hoping to. He got into messaging and changed the image.
Another business owner used an image that spurred a torrent of feedback saying that the issue was sexist and inappropriate. So much so that the initial message was lost in the firestorm that followed.
Another story is of whether employers can discipline employees for out of hours conduct – such as facebook and other social media posts.
With the popularity of BYOD and tele working, it makes logical sense that there will be questions and issues on this matter.
From a HR perspective, can an employer discipline an employee over out of hours social media use?
– Yes if there is a negative impact on the employer and the employee/employer relationship
– Yes if there is clear social media policy in place
What about the established social media and an “error of judgement”?
This is where social media as business activity becomes PR and communications management. The key tips are:
– avoid getting into an online argument, remain respectful
– think carefully before deleting the posts as this is often commented on with great vigour as evidence that the business has something to hide
– use social media in ways that connect the business to the target market
Social media bullying is a hot issue for businesses from a HR perspective and this is another reason to have clear social media and prevention of bullying and grievance handling policies in place.