By AHRA Staff
October 2011–Every month, a hypothetical management situation is posted. You are encouraged to share your thoughts (in the comment box below) on how you would address the issue. Here is this month’s question:
An employee who is friends with several other associates is constantly speaking about her work on Facebook. The employee never mentions names, but most people know exactly who and what she is writing about. Morale is suffering as a result. What would you do?
Be sure to check out others’ responses and join the discussion.
Sticky situation here. I would find out when the employee is on facebook (if it’s on work time), and if it is…problem solved. If not, refer to the employee handbook and the values of the organization. Coach the situation. If that doesn’t help, perhaps they do not uphold the values of the organization.
Agree with Kyle but remember “free speech” is protected both inside and outside the workplace. Just because “everyone knows who and what she is talking about” doesn’t mean the innuendo will stand up with HR or in court. As a manager, I think it is your duty to address the issue out in the open (have HR present) and let the employee know that her posts are distracting to the workplace. Every facility must have a policy on professional conduct, let the employee know that their actions both in/out of work fall under these policies and ask that the conversations be kept to a minimum…or stoppped.
Our core values are Safety, Integrity, Courtesy, Presentation, and Efficiency. Having good presentation does not include negatively speaking about your workplace or coworkers. I would give the employee a “print screen” of what is inappropriate on their facebook. I would explain expectations clearly, documenting the conversation. I would explain that further instances of negative presentation will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. This employee will probably “un-friend” co-workers and continue with the negativity, but at least you know you tried to improve the situation. If you get further complaints about this person’s public posts, get examples and discipline accordingly.
The question really never comes out and says she is saying negative things, but the implication due to low morale is that it is. I would use this in 2 ways. First, i would make sure i did employee rounding with the staff member in question soon. I would use this to find out where she is coming from and if there are real issues that need addressed. i would then use the chance to reaffirm our core valuse and how what she is doing is having a negative impact. I would try to make it a positive for both sides.
We are about to unveil a “social media” campaign in our hospital system. We will allow employees access to Facebook, Twitter and You Tube at work starting in January 2012. I have spent time with my staff going over our social media policy and most have commented that this is a bad idea. I am very hopeful that all staff will use this opportunity as it was designed….as an outlet to communicate positively about the hospital and the care we provide. With that being said, I am planning on being very “present” in the department when we roll this out to make sure that these sites are not being used for unintended uses. I remain hopeful that this will be a positive experience and all employees will use this opportunity to promote rather than for personal amusement.
Does anyone else have a social media program sponsored by their hospital or system? How is it going?