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How to manage social media "trolls" and bullying in the workplace

Bullying and harassment at the workplace no longer exists physically at the workplace and at Christmas parties, but now manifests through social media
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How to manage social media "trolls" and bullying in the workplace

31 May 2016

According to a recent study conducted by WorkplaceInfo, social media use at the workplace is changing the way we do business:

  • 23% of organisations have experienced bullying of their employees via social media

  • Less than half of Australian businesses monitor their employee's internet usage

  • 1/3 of respondents now use Facebook to advertise new roles

Are you one of the 23% of employers which experience workplace bullying through social media, and don’t even know it? Here are three ways you can avoid social media workplace bullying: 

  1. Embed a social media policy at the workplace including anti-bullying and harassment clauses (email with the subject ‘Social Media Policy’ or call us on 1300 575 394  to discuss how you can access social media policy templates)

  2. Remind your staff of the social media policy. Although you have embedded your policy and communicated it, you need to make sure you provide the same access to new staff (in their induction packs) and remind staff of policies regularly – it might be worthwhile sending a quarterly update with a list of relevant policies and notices to your employees as suitable reminders. 

  3. Communicate your social media policy clearly. It is all good and well to have a finite social media policy, but to show that you are an effective employer you must demonstrate you have communicated the policy effectively. This means:

  • Making employees aware the policy exists (notifying them through presentation, email, letter)

  • Providing your employees with access to the policy (hard printed copy, distributed through an email, posted to your intranet site)  

Don’t forget, even if workplace bullying takes place through social media in or outside of the workplace, you as the Employer are liable for any claims that may be made against you. So embedding the three simple steps above are a quick way you can protect yourself. It only costs employees $68 to raise a workplace claim against your business, so protect yourself against it.  

Take our short Risk Profiler to see if you’re at risk of being a non-compliant employer (it takes less than 2 minutes).


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