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Fired Over Social Media?

Everywhere you turn lately you hear of people facing punishment for something that they posted on social media. Some stories are laughable others will make you upset. The fact remains our online activities have the potential to cause major problems in our professional and personal lives.

When someone adds a company to their online presence they instantly become a spokesperson for the organization. Individuals may not understand the ramifications of their actions. The problem this creates for companies is that they now have all of these people “speaking” on behalf of their company with no thought of the image of the brand. Businesses are left dealing with the backlash of all the inappropriate and or offensive things that employees say.

Many people feel that their social media should be private and that what they say should not be taken into consideration by their employers. They often forget that the things they say are on the world wide web and thus anyone can read them. If you would not stand in a boardroom in front of your boss and other co-workers and say what you want to post on social media, then chances are you should NOT post it. We all get frustrated, but going on an online rant about your job is not the best way to express that frustration. Another thing to consider is that everyone that is an online friend is not loyal to you. Assuming that these “friends” will not screenshot, share or talk about your rant is foolish.

Businesses invest a lot of time and money building their brand, most will not hesitate to fire someone that has tarnished it. What can be seen as a bad joke or poor taste to some, could be catastrophic to an organization. As an employee of someone else’s brand or a business owner the things you say online can and will be used against you.

Things for employees to remember when posting online:

  • If you include your job, or @ your company you can be fired for your inappropriate posts.

  • Rants about your boss/job/company will definitely put you in the hot seat. Remember there is chance that person may see the post.

  • Be mindful of the co-workers you add/follow on social media. Not everyone is your friend.

Things for business owners to remember about employees and their brand:

  • Address your social media policy when people are hired and send periodic reminders. ( If you do not have a policy, create one)

  • Frequently search your name online to see what is being said about your business and by whom.

  • If issues arise with employees being inappropriate online, handle it quickly, fairly and respond to those who have voiced concern.

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