If there ever was a time in which our reputations could be destroyed in minutes, it’s now. Bad news, negative tweets, damaging Facebook posts, and negative LinkedIn posts go viral within seconds. And what took years to build can be destroyed by a landslide of “anonymous” comments making sure we’ve been labeled #WorstEmployerEver. Moreover, our employees carry company values, and these kinds of negative posts reflect poorly on both the employee and employer.
Just as social media can bring a company down, so, too, can it build a company’s reputation up. The posting rage can’t be avoided, but it can be used to promote positive employee activism. Weber Shandwick published their conclusions after surveying 2,300 employees around the globe who work in companies with at least 500 employees. The report is titled Employee Rising: Seizing the Opportunity in Employee Activism . Weber Shandwick defines an “employee activist” as someone who defends her workplace either at home, with peers in a social situation, or online. This last component has incredible potential.
Of the employees surveyed, over 50% post messages, pictures, and/or videos about their employers from time to time. The divide between professional and personal has blurred, and employees are posting more about their professional lives on their personal pages, 33% of whom do so without encouragement from their employers. Social media not only plays a big role in employee engagement but can be a catalyst for employee activism.
Why not harness this new medium and encourage activism? There are ways in which organizations can use social media to not only boost their image but also as a recruitment tool, benefit candidate experiences, improve employee engagement and, in turn, activism. But, as with everything, finding the balance between sharing and over-sharing, engaging and spying, takes tact and time.