Social media is a big part of life. Even just casually scrolling through your feeds, it can take you minutes to even hours. The constant updates social media networks do are targeted to keeping you on their platform, leading you deeper and deeper to it.
And because of how big social media plays in daily life, almost every minute, something goes viral. What if the next thing that goes viral is your employee’s social media post? And it’s even a negative one. Suddenly, you have people banging your accounts and pages about your employee’s troubling online behavior. You’re lucky if you get a day to give a response, but usually, you only have minutes. When this happens, how can you address it?
How to address your employee’s negative social media posts
Talk to your employee immediately
Your first course of action always to address negative social media posts is to talk to your employee as soon as possible. Even if netizens are already crusading against your employee, you have to get their side first. Why did they post or comment that? Where are they coming from?
In social media, people often take things out of context. Even simple things can blow up when seen by the wrong eye and influences others to see it that way, too. So talk to your employee first and, after you find out the context of the post, that’s when you move on to the next step.
Ask them to take down the post quickly
Prevent the matter from getting even bigger by asking your employee to take down the post. Take note that the keyword here is “ask”. You can’t demand them to take it down unless you have authorized reasons to do so lest you infringe on your employee’s freedom of expression. Remember that their social media account is their property. They also have the right to refuse your request.
If you really want the post or comment taken down, you can also get in touch with the platform itself and request for it. These platforms have their own rules and regulations in place to provide the best experience for their users, so if they find that the post of your employee violates any of that, they’ll take action.
Check your company’s social media policy
If you feel that your employee’s negative social media post is really troubling and that you have to do something about it, then it’s time to bring out your company’s social media policy.
In these situations, your social media policy will help you guide the best course of action. If according to your social media policy, the post or comment of your employee is violating the terms stated in it, then you can apply proper sanctions.
Weigh your options
Now, you’ve concluded: your employee’s negative social media post really doesn’t conform with your organization’s values. So, you think a sanction is due. But, you can’t just say to your employee “You’re fired” and be done with it.
Depending on the gravity of the situation, addressing your employee’s negative social media posts will give you multiple options. Ask yourself: does this situation call for their termination? Or is a disciplinary action enough? Do you need to take legal action against your employee considering the losses that you could possibly or even got from their troubling social media behavior?
Know your boundaries
Public outcry can affect your decision-making capabilities. As more and more people call for the dismissal of your employee over their post, you may start to think that the situation is graver than you initially thought. However, you can’t possibly not take action.
So, know your boundaries. Just like how the law protects you as an employer, it also protects the employees. Remember that the Labor Code of the Philippines even specifically states the just reasons you can have for terminating an employee. And, if you can’t justify your reason for termination, you may be facing another problem—a labor dispute.
Release a statement online
With how fast things escalate in the digital world, it’s crucial that you release a statement online as soon as possible. This will help the outraged netizens know where your company stands. If you’re still investigating the issue, you can state that you’re doing that and that you’ll take proper actions should violations be found. Also, emphasize in your online statement that the views that your employee expressed don’t reflect your views. Once you’ve resolved the situation, you can release a follow-up statement on what proceedings took place and the conclusion.
In this digital age, boundaries between your employees’ professional and personal lives are getting more and more blurred. Just one wrong behavior online can affect your company and negatively affect the brand that you painstakingly built. The rules governing social media behavior is vague and ever-changing. Knowing how to address your employee’s negative social media posts is critical for you, your employee, and your organization.