With an ever increasing reliance on technology and social media, we have become accessible 24/7; which in turn sets up an expectation (self-imposed or imposed by others) of immediate responses to questions.
In the workplace, if careful consideration and time is not given to such responses, our unconscious biases may influence our response which then in turn, may lead to a negative impact or individuals not being treated fairly.
In many workplaces it has become commonplace to have group chats, whether via WhatsApp, Messenger or an internal platform/app for messaging.
These are a great communication tool, providing everyone is included. However, as they are ‘private’ chat groups, some people can be careless in the way they speak and the language they use, which can lead to colleagues being upset, offended or feeling discriminated against.
Many staff will post comments on social media either on personal accounts (where they have identified who their employer is) or on business accounts, and it is important that the tone and comments reflect the values/vision of your organisation, as the audience is far reaching.
Here are my top tips to ensure fair, inclusive and non-discriminatory use of social media in the workplace:
- Policy – make sure that your social media / communications / Equality, Diversity & Inclusion policies cover expected behaviours on group chats and social media
- Induction – it is important that all new staff are made aware of the policy and expected behaviour
- Training – any Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training should cover use of social media
- Modelling – Senior leaders and managers should lead by example as they set the tone within the workplace
- Managing Behaviours – Any inappropriate behaviours / comments on social media / group chats, no matter how small, should be managed straight away.