Are Employees acting with integrity on social media with respect to their employer?

Introduction

With businesses utilising the benefits of social media through marketing their products and opportunities on social media platforms, the question raised is, are employees acting with integrity on social media with respect to their employer? With around 40% of the World’s population on the internet social media can bring several benefits to businesses, by reaching a wider target audience and gaining publicity (Kelion,2013). It can however open up the Pandora’s box of risks when not well managed.

The video above is emphasising the misuse of social media in the workplace up until 1.45, please pay attention to everything before 1.45.  (Reuters, 2013)

 

Issue Explained 

There are several ethical issue that arise when discussing this topic. A survey by Deloitte in 2009 mentioned,

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-18-54-48

This highlights the importance of monitoring employee’s social medias accounts as many may not function on the web with integrity. There have been many prime examples where employees have inappropriately tweeted, in some cases racist comment such as Justine Sacco (Ronson, 2016).

With Justine Sacco being in position of a public relations role you would have thought her tweets would be revised and thought through. Clearly as a client you would not want to be gaining advice from an individual who cannot market themselves with integrity. Therefore, Sacco’s comments were the result of her dismissal. Justine Sacco is one of many cases that jeopardise and threaten the reputation of a business.

new-piktochart_882_3568643d9e7c9941b7c2ef0b2fb7cca14b6da8b7Issue Analysed 

So is it ethically right to post in a manner that may threaten the reputation of your employer? Is this what is leading to the increasing ethical issue of employers monitoring their employees social media accounts? Employers are becoming warier of such incidents and do not want to increase their risk exposure to damaging their brand name thus are increasing monitoring social media accounts.

However, is it fair that employees are being dismissed when they are not fully informed of their social media rights as an employee? A study carried out by Grant Thornton, received 141 responses which showed 76% of companies did not have a clearly defined social media policy (Grant, 2012). I am not saying that it is okay to slander your employer on social media or voice controversial opinions such as Sacco, but businesses should make it an aim to highlight their expectations and regulations for social media usage inside and outside of the work place as an employee.

 

 

Bibliography 

Kelion, L. (2013) UK jumps up internet scoreboard as digital divide grows. BBC Technology, 7 October. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24426739 [Accessed 26 November 2016].

Ronson, J. (2016) How One stupid Tweet blew up Justine Sacco’s life. Magazine, 12 November. Available from: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=Magazine&action=keypress&region=FixedLeft&pgtype=article&_r=2 [Accessed 26 November 2016].

Grant, M. (2012) 76% of companies do not have a social media policy. Available from: http://www.socialbusinessnews.com/76-of-companies-do-not-have-a-social-media-policy/ [Accessed 26 November 2016].

King, J. (2016) Social media: Changing the rules of business ethics. Available from: http://newsroom.niu.edu/2015/03/17/social-media-changing-the-rules-of-business-ethics/ [Accessed 26 November 2016]. (Deloitte, 2009)

Thomson Reuters Compliance Learning (2013b) Responsible social media use in the workplace. YouTube. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZPbJ1NDqX8 [Accessed 27 November 2016].
References in Piktochart
p, B. (1996) BP social media. Available from: http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/press/social-media.html [Accessed 27 November 2016].

Bennington. and NYSE (2016) What to do when an employee violates your social media policy | monster.com. Available from: http://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices/small-business/social-media-trends/social-media-guidelines.aspx [Accessed 27 November 2016].

Olmstead, K., Lampe, C. and Ellison, N.B. (2016) Social media and the workplace. Available from: http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/06/22/social-media-and-the-workplace/ [Accessed 27 November 2016].

Thomson Reuters Compliance Learning (2013) Responsible social media use in the workplace. YouTube. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZPbJ1NDqX8 [Accessed 27 November 2016].

Kleinman, Z. (2015) Who’s that girl? The curious case of Leah Palmer. BBC Technology, 5 March. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-31710738 [Accessed 27 November 2016].

Soliman, Y. (2016) How to set up your Facebook privacy settings. Available from: https://www.grahamcluley.com/facebook-privacy-settings/ [Accessed 27 November 2016].

Kleinman, Z. (2015b) Who’s that girl? The curious case of Leah Palmer. BBC Technology, 5 March. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-31710738 [Accessed 27 November 2016].

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Are Employees acting with integrity on social media with respect to their employer?

  1. Hi,

    Your blog used appropriate statistics to provide an insight into integrity amongst employees on social media regarding the workplace. I agree with your opinion on the unfair dismissal of employees from their company. Businesses should provide social media training for their workers, under 10% is unethical, as the company is not educating employees on their rights regarding social media towards the workplace.

    After finishing working at Age UK, I did not express my disapproval for the job on social media, as I knew from an ethical standpoint, it could damage the charity name.

    You said through employees increasing their privacy settings, their employers cannot access their accounts. However, Gatens argues, more importantly, employees should consider the current context when they post online. If an employee’s post is the only information readers understand regarding the situation discussed, then posts should be written sensibly.

    Do you agree with the importance of considering the context when posting online, why is this?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello,
      I do agree that the posts should be written sensibly and the context should be revised before posting. However many people do not think twice and this is an issue. I was aiming to emphasise that you can alter your privacy settings but it is not the point as information when posted online can leak and jeopardise your career and employers brand name. There is the element of taking responsibility when posting and people should be aware of what they post.

      Nikhil Anand

      Like

  2. Hi,

    I highly appreciate the clarity of you post and how easy it is to take in the information displayed due to the bold sections used and the info-graphic. I found the post very factual as all your points were backed up by relevant statistics and quotes to support your argument. I agree with your final point about organisations making themselves clear with regards to social media before they penalise them for misuse. You say less than 50% of firms have a policy on social media, this for me seems it may be the source of the issue. If all firms had a secure clearly available policy only the employee could be to blame for inappropriate posts. My question to you is do you think employees should take initiative when it comes to posting on social media, could they stay in line with a second thought before sharing?

    Thanks,

    Chris

    Like

    1. Hello,
      Thank you very much for the kind words!
      Yes I completely agree with you that statistic is too high, and if it were to be brought down then employees would be solely responsible.
      In all honesty I do think employees should take the initiative when posting on social media. my personnel stance is that it is not that complicated to understand not to put down your employer…I would also have to say if they have doubts simply don’t post the. It’s with anything you need to have the competitive edge so why post online putting yourself at a disadvantage.

      Thank you for your comment.

      Nikhil Anand

      Like

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