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Employee Boundaries for Social Media

Hi everybody, this is Mike Staver, this is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Pretty much like you, probably like you. Here’s the question this week:

We recently held performance reviews and a staff member did not take the constructive criticism very well. The staff member went to social media asking their fans to weigh in on their job, and if they should continue working for the company or move on. I found out about the post from other employees who work for the company. We do have a policy in place regarding our company and social media, and while they didn’t speak ill of the company or mention anybody by name, it is specific to the person performing the review. It came from the staff member’s private account but where do you draw the line? Should I or can I give consequences to this person?

So here’s the deal. Social media is the wild wild west. There are a few things to consider. First of all, they did not specifically violate company policy. If they did not specifically defame the name of your business, if they did not call out, or unfairly or unwisely defame somebody else there’s not a whole lot you can do. I would though, bring them in and have a conversation and say “I don’t care that you posted it, you could have done it in skywriting, you didn’t mention the name of the company so it’s not bad. What my bigger concern is is that you don’t feel comfortable having a conversation with us about what bugs you! Let’s have that conversation! Why do you have to go on social media before you come to us? What is it about our culture that makes that difficult?”

So I hope that’s helpful. I have seen people use social media like this. It’s so baffling, because it’s so self serving. I don’t take the bait, I don’t want you to take the bait, but I would have a conversation with her and find out what you need to do so that they feel comfortable having a better conversation about social media. Because I dare say the feedback she gets on Facebook is going to be a hair different than the feedback she got from her review.

I hope that’s helpful, until next week, this is Mondays with Mike, take care.

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