Pandemic HR: Policies – Confidentiality and Social Media

When laying off employees, or ending their employment for any reason, take a moment to remind them of their confidentiality obligations and the social media policy. A confidentiality agreement applies to employees both during employment and beyond. Social media policies don’t necessarily apply after employment. However, if an employee is laid off and expects to return to their job in the future, observing proper etiquette when referencing their employer online should be common sense. 

In times of chaos, when people sense they have no control over their situation (i.e. how most of us are feeling with this pandemic), sometimes people act irrationally and exert ‘control’ in different ways. Some employers are facing this now with dismissed employees taking to social media to badmouth their employer.

What to do?

Gently remind employees of the need to maintain confidentiality and continue to practice prudence in their online presence so that the business will be able to pick up with them where it left off. Even more than that, treat employees with compassion. Care about what happens to them. And stay in touch with them when they are off. Encourage them to talk to you rather than Facebook if they have frustrations.