Social media’s omnipotence in the workplace has become clear through its utilisation for business as well as personal purposes. Sadly, employees’ personal engagements often have a negative impact on their employers if these engagements are defamatory and the individuals making these statements are linked to their employers both overtly on social media or merely through public perception.

Why is this?

Comments on social media do have the potential to cause harm to another person. This is especially true in the case of a company who relies on their brand equity and goodwill as a competitive advantage in their day-to-day business dealings.

Owing to this capability of peoples’ social media posts to cause damage to a company’s good name, if it can be proven that harm was suffered owing to these comments, hefty damages can often be claimed.

As you’ve seen in previous articles that we’ve posted on the Global Business Solutions website, employees’ actions on social media can lead to disastrous endings. These facts have come to the fore again with a well-known radio presenter, Mr Ravi Govender, openly criticising the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma, on his social media platform. As Mr Govender was openly known as being affiliated with the South African Broadcasting Corporation, he was dismissed as it was contended that he had brought the public broadcaster’s good name into disrepute.

What can employers do?

It is important that companies have clear guidelines in terms of how to use social media. Training with your employees needs to be done to ensure that they know the dos and don’ts of what you expect from them on these public platforms as well as all other aspects of the employment relationship.  Global Business Solutions offers a wide range of courses to assist you in all dealings with your employees. Click here for more information.