A couple of years ago, social networking was mainly used for private social interactions between family or friends and the dilemma of cyber bullying reared its head. It did not take long for companies to realize the positive advantages of using social media to create their business get ahead of the competition, marketing their brands to a far wider audience. Unfortunately the issues of cyber bullying was not left behind and now with the increased use of the internet and how nearly all individuals own a wise phone with immediate access to those social networking platforms means that office problems (which would normally be contained within the work environment) are currently following workers home.
Many companies address bullying in the workplace, but it’s just as important to put provisions in place regarding an employee’s use of social media away from work by implementing procedures that protect both the workers and the business from costly tribunal claims.
We suggest companies consider the following:
By creating a policy pertaining to cyber bullying, companies have the ability to include definitions of the kinds of behaviour considered unacceptable, making clear the consequences for failing to adhere with the coverage whether it occurs in our outside working hours.
This should be set out within the grievance procedure. With cyber bullying often occurring outside of working hours, sometimes the employer is only made aware of a problem if an employee reports it. Thus, there should be a clear reporting and investigation procedure that’s simple to follow and workers should be made to feel comfortable reporting these kinds of behaviors.
Having a procedure won’t only protect the employee that’s experiencing cyber warfare, but also the employer. Employers who fail to get a acceptable grievance policy in place can lead workers to apply directly to the Commission without allowing the company the chance to try and tackle the issue first.
Firms that fail to train their employees on what is and is not acceptable behavior in and beyond the workplace, may be held responsible for failing to handle the issue in the first location. If staff claim they weren’t aware what was considered cyber warfare then it would be tough to argue if you as a company haven’t made it clear. Being able to demonstrate that you don’t condone any kinds of bullying behavior and can prove you’ve taken reasonable actions to safeguard your employees by giving relevant training will safeguard your business in the long term.
Stats already demonstrate the numbers of consumers on social networking platforms are rapidly increasing, therefore cyber bullying amounts are also on the rise so it’s far better to begin applying the above mentioned practices whenever possible in your organization.