Social media channels, from Facebook to TikTok, have become the go-to platforms for venting frustrations. Whether that’s confiding in a friend via a private Facebook message, starting a twitter trend with likeminded strangers or filming tell-all videos that go viral.
It has become second nature for some people to share their experiences online, with little left to the imagination. So much so that even the inner sanctum of the workplace can become public knowledge in a matter of seconds via a disgruntled employee with a penchant for posting.
If you’re less inclined to go public with your problems, it can be horrifying to find out that someone else has; especially if your business has been tagged, named, and shamed for all to see.
Even if you don’t use social media, other people do, and will. Rather than live in fear, however, of what an employee might be saying about your company online, your focus and attention is best spent on building and maintaining a safe and compliant workplace, reducing the risk of grievances altogether.
Good communication is crucial in your business. An employee with a grievance will typically try to raise issues internally first, and there is a procedure that needs to be followed. Usually, it is only if the proper reporting lines are lacking, or they feel ignored, that they will seek to vent their frustrations publicly.
Having a reliable process in place (that is known to all staff) for reporting any issues or concerns during the working day, helps to manage the process. It gives you the opportunity to understand areas of your business that might need improving, or could be damaging, whilst letting employees know that their input matters.
What if it’s a small issue and they won’t let it go? Your process is just as important for the seemingly smaller issues so that you can document and reiterate your response on the matter. Additionally, smaller issues can turn into bigger issues, and having an audit trail will provide your defence.
There are times when you follow all the rules and still an employee will be dissatisfied and complain to their online audience. A social media conduct policy will help to protect your business, and your actions in relation to any breach of your policy.
Dealing with a digital grievance can be stressful and time consuming for a small business. If you have questions about implementing best practice HR or a social media policy, call us today.