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Facebook – love it or loathe it?

Love it or loathe it, facebook is the modern way to keep in touch with family and friends.  It is also used as a highly effective business tool, great for marketing your products and/or services and for connecting you to clients, colleagues and business associates.

That's good news for some but for others it can have consequences.  Staff who might be unhappy in their jobs can post anything they want on their personal accounts, including negative comments about where they work, the work they do and the relationships they have – whether true or not.

Look at it in a different way…

Your staff might have just had a bad day at work, or have had a personal crisis and they just need to vent their frustration without thinking about the bigger picture and once they’ve thought about it – it’s often too late!

Who is responsible?

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to tell your staff about what you will and will not accept on social media websites.  If your staff don’t know what your policy is, how can they be expected to adhere to it? And, at the end of the day, prevention is always better than cure!

So how do you manage this correctly? 

The winning strategy starts by having in place a strong disciplinary procedure and a robust email and internet policy.  If you are then alerted to a problem, you can conduct a full and fair investigation.

Online misconduct is no different to any other type.  There are many high profile companies that have taken disciplinary action against members of their staff for making derogatory employment-related statements on facebook; some have even been dismissed because of it.

So it’s really important for you to look at your internal procedures to ensure that they meet your exact requirements.  Your staff are your biggest asset, so help them to understand the bigger picture… and let us help you put a policy in place. 

For more information contact Jill Hetherington.

Posted: December 1st, 2011

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