I recently came across an article by Bernard Marr that described a few good ways to ruin your career. He basically says underestimating the power of social media is one of the main ways to lose your job. For instance, a public relations executive posted multiple offensive comments that finally lead to one super thoughtless tweet. How about the sexist firefighters in Toronto who made degrading comments about women?
Stories like this happen every day. The deceptive invisibility of the internet has made us all believe we are untouchable and immune to the consequences of bad behavior. Mr. Marr lists 5 ways to ruin a great career – or even just a job! Two of them were directly related to social media – forgetting that everything (and everyone) is connected and bringing too much personal life to your work life. While recent court cases have protected freedom of speech on social media, an employee can still be fired for errors in judgment regarding gripes that are in no way related to “organizing” among co-workers.
Employers and HR managers should not become over confident when assuming negative speech is grounds for automatic termination. However, the balancing act of determining when discipline or termination is right and even necessary can be tedious. For instance, many employers have the policy that employees are not allowed to discuss wages between each other or on social media. This policy is in direct opposition to the recent NLRB decisions protecting the right of employees to organize.
Employers who fail to educate themselves and their employees are possibly creating the biggest social faux pas of all.
Until Next Time –
Keep Calm and Employee On!
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