Dealing with Negative Employee Comments about Your BusinessLet’s begin with a negative situation. You’ve recently found out a great employee (who you like and trust) has made some really disparaging comments about your company — maybe even directed at you personally — on social media. Now, you’re wondering what to do about it. If the comments are negative and harmful to your business’ reputation, you most definitely need to address the situation immediately.
Criticism in the workplace can be constructive if an individual is pointing out concrete inefficiencies and offering suggestions for positive improvements; or criticism can be destructive, when one person tears down and negatively critiques the actions of others while offering no suggestions for positive improvement. —Houston Chronicle Small BusinessThis is a difficult conversation to have, there’s no doubt about it. But, a stern warning might be enough to move past the moment. It’s probably also necessary to talk about his or her future and potential separation from the company, should the behavior continue. While it’s a hard thing to do, derogatory comments simply are not acceptable. So, invite him or her to vent their grievances in private instead of on social media.
Dealing with Positive Employee Comments about a Your BusinessIf this is a situation where the comments were critical yet constructive or positive, it’s an entirely different set of circumstances. Since it’s a totally opposite attitude, you might still be personally hurt or feel undermined, but it’s far better than dealing with a completely negative scenario. Here are some effective methods for dealing with a good employee who publicly criticized your business on social media:
- Make him or her understand the proper context. The very first thing you need to do is to let him or her know that it is not acceptable or appropriate to criticize the company on social media. Instead, the appropriate time and place is right in the workplace, where discussions are private and between colleagues, where such input belongs.
- Let your employee know your door is always open. Of course, it’s up to you to open your office door and make all your employees understand they have an open-ended invitation to speak with you at any time they feel it is necessary. (Obviously, you’ll need to set some boundaries to ensure there’s mutual respect and interactions remain overall positive.)
- Solicit feedback from all your team members regularly. While this might be super-obvious, it’s most definitely worth repeating. You cannot operate in your business in a vacuum. It’s not a good dynamic and worse yet, when you don’t listen to the people around you who are in the trenches with you, it’s only going to erode the environment and worsen over time.