In today’s world we can all agree that social media plays a huge role in our everyday lives. Almost everyone nowadays has a smartphone, whether it’s the Apple iPhone or an Android phone. One thing that all these smartphones have in common is social media applications. So how do these applications affect our professional lives? The case directly states that Employee’s social media behavior can both help and hurt businesses’ efforts to build reputation with customers, foster employee engagement, and earn profits. Because of this, nearly every day we hear of another employee fired or inappropriate social media posts. Millennials use many different social media applications such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and etc., creating a huge problem in our society today regarding what is appropriate for an employee to post on these applications.
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The problem identified in this case is pretty simple to understand, the main issue that is occurring here is between the employers and the employees. As we have learned in our Organization Behavior class, a problem occurs when there is a gap between the current situation and the desired situation. There is a huge gap that exists in this situation because employers want to be able to have a say in what is posted about their companies on social media. As the case states, the position of employers interests is pretty simple: They don’t want the employee comments damaging the company reputation. At the end of the day the employees are protected by the National Labor Relations Act and they do have the right to free speech, which causes the problem to occur. In our society today whenever we have a problem, more times than not we tend to express our feeling on to social media for our followers to see.
The first potential cause of this problem can occur at an individual level. No matter how great a company is, employee dissatisfaction always tends to occur at the workplace. Employee dissatisfaction at a company can be caused by multiple things such as not agreeing with the decisions upper management makes or dissatisfaction from your performance review. As the case states when such a behavior occurs at the work place people will more often than not take their negative emotions to social media. This can significantly impact the problem because it causes a negative work place and thus causes the employees to talk negatively on social media. This is what companies are trying to prevent because they do not have a negative reputation. The first scenario in the case we saw is that employees had to pay more in taxes because of an accounting error. This is showing employee dissatisfaction with the upper management at the individual level.
The second potential cause of this problem can occur at group/team level. Building off my last paragraph, employee dissatisfaction can also lead counterproductive behavior at the group level. One key factor of making sure that all group members are satisfied is communication since stressful work environments can negatively impact job performances. We can see a domino effect occurring in the Triple Play You’re Out! Scenario, as one of the employees took his feelings about the restaurant to Facebook, which then ended up catching the eyes of his coworkers. The owners of the restaurant saw this post on Facebook and ended up firing the employees.
The third potential cause of this problem can occur at an organizational level. Companies are always aware of the negative media surrounding them or when certain errors happen, they try to cover their tracks. They should always have an open line of communication with their employees, when an error occurs; it should be communicated to all their employees. If Triple Play Sports Bar & Grill had just communicated the accounting error to their employees, they probably would have not taken their anger out through social media. But since the bar lacked communication at an organizational level, their reputation was harmed.
An organization can take multiple different approaches on how to tackle this problem in the work place. We have learned through the first half of the class that the attitudes and emotions are more flexible than other features such a personality and intelligence. In this case the owners of the bar should understand their employees better than anyone else. Triple Play Sport Bar lost the case essentially because their policy was too vague. If they are able to provide their employees with better training and understanding of the company policies, I truly believe they could have avoided this case. As the owners (managers) they should be able to influence certain differences in their employees. Employees would be better able to handle what they post on social media regarding their employers if they had a better understanding of what the rules were.
The biggest key to success for a company here is communication as referred to in the case study as well. If a company has an effective line of communication, then most their employees will be satisfied. The owner of the bars could have done a lot to prevent their employees from being angry, they should have definitely communicated the error to all their employees soon as they found out about the accounting error. An open communication also helps employees feel more valued in their company since they feel like they are a part of it.
In conclusion, I think employees have the right to post whatever they feel like on social media at their own risk. These suggested recommendations won’t change every employee’s perspective on what to post on social media and what not to but it would definitely trend positively in the workforce. Companies can’t control their employees but they can try educate their employees on their policies so these problems don’t continue to escalate. At the end of the day if the company does not have any clear polices, an employee can post whatever they want on social media without any consequences because every employee is protected by the National Labors Relations Act.
Employer on Social Media. (2019, Apr 10).
Retrieved December 6, 2022 , from
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