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3 Ways HR Can Do Damage Control on Social Media

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More than ever, disgruntled employees are taking to social media platforms to share posts and videos of their bad work experiences.  

We recently saw big organizations such as Starbucks, Better.com, and Amazon take a hit because upset employees posted videos of incidents where they felt undervalued and unheard in their workplace.  

Besides going viral on the internet, videos and stories posted on social media can cause long term damage to businesses which can lead to loss of customers, high employee attrition, and lawsuits.  

Instead of dismissing these stories as something a disgruntled employee would post, we need to understand that employees have to resort to social media as they find traditional HR channels incompetent to recognize or address their problems. That’s why when they feel unheard or undervalued instead of approaching HR, they turn to the internet to tell their stories and receive a faster response.  

HR can take cognizance of the matter and ensure employees’ concerns are addressed at the company level before being escalated as viral videos. Here are 3 ways to go about it: 

Improve employee-employer relationships 

You can’t build a brand on the name alone. In order to accomplish its mission statement, a company needs the support of its employees. To avoid the repercussions of viral incidents and strengthen your brand, you need to do more than design stringent social media policies. You must repair your employer-employee relationship and work culture. The best way to ensure this is to implement healthy work habits and ethics in the workplace.  

When employees feel secure in their jobs and don’t fear harassment or discrimination, they will not turn to social media platforms to rage about their problems. A positive, ethical work environment lowers stress, making employees less likely to lash out or make an impulsive decisions regarding their employer.  

Create a rock-solid social media policy 

Once you feel that your workplace has come close to becoming healthy and inclusive, it’s time to evaluate your social media policy. Having a vague social media policy does more harm than good. It puts your company at risk of more employee violations. Make sure your policy is thorough from the start and gives employees the freedom to ask questions if they’re unsure.  

In your social media policy, emphasize the importance of adhering to your company’s values, public image, and mandate. Include a style guide to keep voice and tone consistent across posts. Finally, list specific formats, topics, and types of content employees should and shouldn’t include in company posts.  

Train your employees 

Even if you have the most watertight social media policy ever written, don’t expect employees to follow it without training them.   

Give your employees a transparent and honest view of what is acceptable and what is not as a part of your company’s social media policy. This would be a good time to also highlight the legal action an employee may face and how they can be held responsible for the consequences of their actions.  

Social media should also include what could happen if employees don’t follow the rules set by the company and other regulatory bodies. 

About the author

Varsha Pednekar

With over 6 years as a content contributor for various media houses and budding companies, Varsha has created a niche for herself with her well-researched pieces. She loves to write about current events, public policy, healthcare, finance, and many other genres. A trained artist and curator, she also dabbles in writing concept notes and creating profiles for upcoming local artists.

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