Monday, February 11, 2013

Cyberbullying at Work

What would you suggest companies do to make sure employees aren’t bullying each other on social media without seeming to harshly restrict something that’s a personal activity as well as a business activity?

This is a dicey issue. Google erases the distinction between your personal and professional brand, so today’s professional is never really off the clock. That is, what you do in your off-hours—on, say, your personal Facebook page—ultimately reflects on your employer.


1. Involve HR early and continously. To underscore the importance of the issue, appoint someone in that department as the POC for cyberbulling. Let employees know from the get-go that they can report incidents to HR anonymously, on any subject, about anyone.

2. Hold an annual webinar or workshop on cyberbulling, just as some companies do for their 401(k)s. If you’re serious about the issue, make attendence mandatory.

3. Create a policy that lays out explicit dos and donts—with examples. Having something in writing is important for corrective action.

4. Cyberbullying underscores the importance of hiring the right people. As Netflix superbly demonstrates with its HR slide deck, a company’s most important asset is it people—so make sure to screen out anyone you think might be a bully.

Addendum: Success!

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