Facebook has permeated our communications. While plenty of people still reject Facebook, or have moved on to other things, the millions of users still indicates the site is nowhere near becoming obsolete. So, what happens when your employees use the platform to say less than flattering things about you or your company online? What can you do to prevent it or how can you solve a potential problem? Here are some things to consider about Facebook complaints and the workplace.
Politely inform them about the rules violation.
Before you fly off the handle in a fit of rage, review your employee handbook and make sure that by speaking disparagingly on social media they are actually violating company policy. If they have not, then you may want to consider revising your handbook. If they are, address them directly about it and ask that the information be removed. Remain calm but point out the rules they broke.
Learn when to pick your battles.
There may also be a time and a place where you can just let it go. Employees since the dawn of time have complained about their employer, and it’s usually just harmless way to blow off steam. If they post it on their personal, friends-only, timeline you may want to let it go. If they post it to your public page, then you may wish to discuss it with them.
Determine if this is a bigger problem.
You may also want to start reviewing your management style to understand if this is isolated or endemic. Consider what their complaint is really about and see if you may need to make extensive changes with your organization to improve any potential problems. However, it is possible you’ll determine that the employee is simply causing trouble, and if so the right course of action may be discipline or termination.
Generate positive content.
If you’re worried about how their commentary may impact your business, you can do something about it without having your employee remove the remark. Instead, make sure that you are positing positive company information on your social media sites. Negativity quickly gets buried if there is enough positive information to bury it.
Understand the legal gray areas.
Before you do decide to pull the plug on an employee for this reason, consult an HR expert to better understand the implications of reacting to their social media. Online communications, including Facebook, are still in a legal gray area when it comes to employment. You may not have the right to ask your employee to remove information, but you may be able to terminate their employment. It is best to fully understand your position before you make any major changes.