How can you avoid being sledged on social media by disgruntled ex-employees? A company’s reputation can be easily tainted on social media by disgruntled ex-employees. Employees have access to the company’s sensitive information and a small leak could bring the organisation to ashes.
Underestimating the power of social media is the biggest mistake a company can make. A small tweet or a short post could either do wonders or collateral damage to an organisation’s reputation.
The best way of avoiding trouble is to prevent disputes or disagreements to happen in the first place.
You should have clearly documented policies in place so that your employees are well aware of the rules, the expected performance, conduct and what actions the company can take in the case of under-performance.
Make sure you have a social media policy in place. This takes the guesswork out of what is appropriate for employees to post about your company, who can post it and other restrictions.
You should also have a written employment agreement in place, containing a confidentiality clause that prevents an employee from using or disclosing any confidential information. ‘Confidential information’ should also be clearly defined.
Be Smart with Severance
If you need to part company with an employee, it’s important to follow a fair and legal process.
Warnings and terminations should never come as a surprise. Sacking a person without any warning will not only create a disgruntled ex-employee but also a potential legal dilemma. Unless the actions of your employee involve serious misconduct, you should always provide them with an opportunity to respond to the warning(s) and a reasonable chance to rectify the problem.
Depending on circumstances, you could also negotiate a severance package, over and above minimum legal requirements. This is more common at a senior level as a way to legally prevent an employee from taking certain actions after their employment has ended. This is often considered as the ‘cleanest’ way of preventing future trouble. It’s important to pair your severance package with a non-disclosure agreement because no matter how good you are to your workforce, the general public and legal system will always be more sympathetic towards employees, rather than the employer.
Clean Up the Mess
You have to be perfectly sure the sensitive information of your company doesn’t go out along with an employee you just terminated.
As soon as you terminate your employee, be sure to block access to all sensitive information, including email and other accounts on your management system. This would require you to change password, permissions etc.
So, after taking all the above precautions, you may still end up with some social media action. What do you do then? The hard truth is that unless you have a non-disclosure agreement in place, there is really not much you can do. This is why it’s absolutely necessary to take all precautions. If sensitive information has leaked at the hands of a disgruntled employee or you have been defamed in the press, the damage has already been done. The internet is viciously unforgiving and sensitive information may keep circulating till the end of time.
Thus, take the above precautions and keep the reputation of your company safe.
If you require information on this important area of management, please contact us. At Signature, your first consultation is always FREE
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Aurthor: Mats Eriksson