These days it has become second nature to vent our frustrations on social media, especially those to do with work. Are we shooting ourselves in the foot? Or does this pose as a great opportunity for employers to improve the workplace?
An opinion piece written by the Australian Fair Work Commissioner Leigh Jones revealed that 309,712 Instagram users posted with the hashtag #boredatwork, whilst 30,685 posted #hatemyjob photos and 1068 posted #hatemyboss posts. The Commissioner warned that “using social media to discuss your job dissatisfaction is a one-way ticket to unemployment.” This article however unearths a much greater issue, that being the gap in employer and employee education surrounding social media practice.
1. Social media education is needed in the workplace
A Social media module should be introduced during the induction process to an organisation. This is more than just outlining the rules, do’s and don’ts. It’s purpose is to raise awareness of the consequences of inappropriate behaviour and how it affects not only the organisation but the individual personally. The module also brings to life the organisation's electronic communications policy in a practical way, it builds awareness, understanding, employee engagement, and provides an auditable step that organisations can consult should a social media issue occur.
2. Social media is NOT the enemy, it’s an OPPORTUNITY
Organisations tend to look upon social media as the ‘enemy’, the one thing that could destroy the business and its reputation. If an employee was to tweet #hatemyjob on social media, the knee-jerk reaction is to remove them from the organisation, while that may be a necessary action it should also be used as an opportunity to find out why they were unhappy, and what they needed to become re-engaged. This way organisations can put measures in place to prevent dissatisfaction, and the overall result becomes a much more unified and happy workplace.
A ‘communications policy’ on its own today isn’t enough anymore, (well, it probably never was). Organisations need to invest in social media education for their employees, to close the gap, reduce risk and ensure the best possible outcome for both themselves and their employees.