Today, the number of people being terminated from their jobs due to their social media postings is quickly rising. Many employers are faced with the choice of whether to keep an eye on their employees' social media accounts. Understandably, there has been push back seen by employees stating that this is an invasion of privacy. Many employers don't seem to agree with that notion, and there are a few good reasons why.
They are Part of Your Brand
Employees are the representatives of a company. When an employee engages in questionable conduct on social media, most people will look at where they work. Their profile and postings might also come up in search results when people search for your company. This leads to instant demand in the public for an answer from your company as to why you decided to hire such a person. Obviously, you may not share the views of such an employee nor be aware of their opinions beforehand; however, you are now attempting to stop a proverbial fire from spreading. Through the act of overseeing their social media posts, this issue could have been caught early on before the employee went too far and put your brand's reputation at risk. To avoid problems, make your social media policy clear to every employee.
Today's office harassments are not confined to the workplace alone. Most kinds of workplace harassment can occur on social media. Often times, bullies will keep tormenting their victims through social media. Some may not even show any signs of being a bully in the office. Therefore, employers today are going straight to social media to find out if everything is okay within the office culture or if there is something lurking beneath the surface. Employers who witness this type of harassment can take precautionary measures to keep these two employees as far away as possible without embarrassing the victim. A common concern is that they will continue this behavior online. Some employers will straight out fire the bully in order to send a message to the rest of the office that this type of behavior is not tolerated.
When it comes to researching a potential job candidate, many employers will head to social media to further increase their knowledge of them. Some have stated that they are worried that this may lead to discriminatory practices. However, there has been little-to-no evidence that this is the case. In fact, many employers have encouraged the practice as it has allowed them to find out troubling histories before it's too late.
Utilizing social media as a means to keep an eye on your employees is one that is somewhat controversial. Thus, the information above should be considered to make this very serious decision. Giving your employees a clear-cut understanding of your social media policy will help clear up any of their concerns. Reassure them that you respect their rights to freedom of speech and privacy, but they need to respect their responsibility to your brand's reputation as its representatives.
Here’s another article you might like: Key Elements of an Employee Handbook