To manage an organisation’s reputation and ensure that it is not associated with any controversial, discriminatory or damaging (legally, financially or otherwise) views, it is vital to keep an eye on what employees are putting out on social media platforms.
Potentially damaging activities range from sharing confidential information, infringing on customer privacy and cyber bullying, to posting comments, which the audience and market can perceive as discriminatory, or inappropriate, these actions elicit consequences – for both employee and employer.
The need for clear guidelines of what constitutes hate speech, defamation or racist content, the posts of staff on a public forum – even if in their personal capacity and out of working hours, can have a negative impact on an employer. As such, social media misconduct cases are becoming more common with offensive remarks that bring employing organisations into disrepute, for example, being reported and employers taking the necessary action in terms of disciplinary hearings and / or dismissal.
Noting the an example of such a scenario is that of an individual in the medical field whose employer dismissed from her position after having allegedly made comments on social media relating to a medical procedure undertaken on President Jacob Zuma’s wife in the hospital in which she worked.
So how can employers deal with negative employee social media activity?
When an employee behaves in a way, which makes the employer believe that a third party may change his or her perception on the organisation, they are well within their rights to pursue legal action and dismissal.
While this is an effective reactive measure of dealing with social media misconduct, it is important for business leaders to consider some preventative procedures, which focus on educating staff on what, the organisation expects of them and the actions the organisation will take for offences committed by staff. With this knowledge and understanding, employees will be well informed of organisation’s policies, exercise good judgment and be equipped to deal with the consequences of their actions.
It may seem obvious but, within an employer’s social media policy, it is crucial to outline that employees should never share confidential and proprietary information online, forgoing to include this simple point can result in serious financial and reputational harm. Having a social media policy in place will at the very least, act as a reminder for staff to be more aware of their online activities and think before they post.
We live in the digital age and while it is essential for businesses to establish and grow their social media presence to connect and engage with the public, one needs to always keep in mind that nothing posted online is truly private.
Kay Vittee is the CEO of the Adcorp’s Support Staffing portfolio: Charisma Health Solutions, Kelly and Quest Staffing Solutions (Pty) Ltd., and a presenter at Talenttalks Africa 2017.
Join Kay on 22 June 2017 at Riversands Incubation Hub Fourways, 15h00, Stream 4B for a hack of a presentation.
Recruitment hacks – Navigating the Digital Pipeline
”Social Media and Recruitment are a match made in Talent Acquisition Heaven. As it gets harder to attract top talent, Recruiters will need to go to the places where their audiences are.
If you were getting excited and looking forward to hearing me talk about IT related hacks such as phishing, how to protect your credit data information…I am sorry to disappoint you, this talk will not be about that. This presentation will be much more exciting and it will be about hacks however from a recruitment perspective. You may wonder what recruitment hacks entail?
This involves simplified recruitment methodologies within a candidate driven market and a digitised recruitment era, which facilitates quick turnarounds and improved efficiency benefiting both recruiters and clients. How is this done? By simplifying recruitment landing pages, assessing, advancing and managing digital recruitment application processes. Using your social analytics to design more targeted candidate job advertising; ensuring the use of search-phrases to a specific pool of candidates and by sourcing and qualifying candidates by applying professional language and/or jargons used in their daily operations that are industry and candidate specific. These are some of the hacks I’ll be sharing with you at the conference”