Social media in a workplace

Social MediaToday I am starting my essay by sharing a story.
I was flying back home from an interview a few years ago. During the first leg of the trip I had a gentleman sitting next to me. We started a conversation, he mentioned to me he was an executive coming back from visiting his company’s headquarters. He was very chatty about what he was doing, the conversation took an interesting turn when we started to speak about raises. He shared with me that he does check social media and had on a few occasions not given a raise to someone that posted on social media. He went a step further by sharing he did not promoted someone based on his social media posting. At that point I played the devil’s advocate, telling him “most HR departments have in their policies, employees should not be penalized for posting on social media. Managers should not base raises on what the employees are actually doing on social media”. It didn’t faze him at all.

I am now asking the same questions to everyone.
Do you go on social media and check what your subordinates are posting?
Do you penalize them if you do not like what you are reading?
Would you deny someone a promotion based on social media activities?
When hiring someone, do you check their social medial prior to hiring them? If yes, have you ever passed on a candidate that posted something you didn’t like?
Do you think it is going too far checking employees on social media?

There is sharing and there is too much sharing. Social media is the new Wild Wild West. You have a lot of extremes in cyberspace, individuals are not connecting amongst each other. Instead they are using these tools to say what they want to say not realizing how it can impact them. You can speak your mind, but on social media this will stay forever. The same goes with your pictures, you do not own them social media does. Is it worth it for you to be angry at someone and you share it with the rest of the world? Or would it be better for you to sort out disagreements with that individual in private?

I have seen individuals fired for misbehaving outside of work. Imagine you are sitting across the table with the hiring manager, interviewing for a new job. The hiring manager has accessed your social media account to see you have participated in embarrassing incidents. What are your chances of getting that job?

If you have even been passed on for a promotion do you know why? Is it because of your social media?

I am glad social media didn’t exist when I was younger. We were privileged to express ourselves the way we wanted without the worry of being caught on social media. Millennials will never experience that. We need to think about what we are posting on social media. Do I really want to post that picture, or would it be better, if I am angry at someone, to deal with that individual directly instead of hiding behind my keyboard ready to expose my dirty laundry to the delight of others? Sooner or later this can come back to haunt you.

Employers do you think it is ethical to check social media to see what your subordinates are up too?
Would you check potential candidate’s social media to see what they have to say?

9 thoughts on “Social media in a workplace”

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