What employees do on their own time outside of work hours is, by and large, their own business. But when those actions directly impact your company — even actions taken online — it’s a real problem. Then, it becomes an HR issue and the employee in question will have to be addressed, or possibly even terminated if the issue is serious enough.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common unprofessional behaviors that employees demonstrate online.
Sharing of Confidential Information
It’s likely that your company has non-disclosure agreements and confidentiality agreements with your employees, prohibiting them from sharing protected business information or trade secrets. But that doesn’t mean that employees always follow those guidelines. If an employee shares confidential business information online, there must be consequences — that can range from a probationary period to termination.
Posting Rants or Inappropriate Content
There’s always the risk that an employee of your organization posts a rant or some other kind of content that is inflammatory, rude, inappropriate, discriminatory, or prejudicial. Obviously, this reflects poorly on your company and can cause serious public relations issues. That’s why you’ll want to address the issue immediately and with force — that way, the public knows that your organization is not represented by that one employee’s personal views.
Badmouthing Your Company
In the world of online reviews and instant judgment, it’s entirely possible that an employee badmouths your company online during their non-working hours. While customers can get away with this kind of behavior, an employee cannot. You’ll have to evaluate whether or not the comments were meant to damage the company’s reputation, or whether they may do so in the future. There is a gray area here, so remember that it may very well become a legal matter.
Arguing With Coworkers
Sometimes, disputes in the office may be taken online when work isn’t in session. You don’t want to have a public showdown between employees in the public digital space, where customers can see the whole thing. It may be handled with mediation of some kind, or the employees may have to be terminated.
Want to learn more about handling difficult situations involving employees online? We can help. Contact High Profile online or by calling 972-991-7900.