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Last Updated : Nov 09, 2018 06:36 PM IST | Source:

IT companies review social media policies as employees air grievances online

While most have social media behaviour as part of their employee handbooks, some are looking at tackling it through internal communication or launching social awareness programmes

Neha Alawadhi @alnehaa
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Social media is a double-edged sword for Indian technology services providers. These companies have been reconsidering how they want to approach the issue of current and former employees taking to social media platforms to air their grievances.

Recently, there were a couple of cases where existing employees were fired from Indian IT services companies after they made complaints in a similar way.

The head of Tech Mahindra's diversity and inclusion team was fired after a former employee made allegations of bigotry against her on Twitter.


Also Read: Tech Mahindra fires employee accused of bigotry

Tata Consultancy Services also fired an employee for allegedly issuing rape and death threats to women on social media.

"Social media is a double-edged sword for employers. On one hand it serves as a free promotional tool for your company thanks that allows employees to share work-related photos and positive news on their personal social media channels. On the other hand, it has introduced the need to regulate

these communications without stifling them," said Alka Dhingra, General Manager at IT staffing company Teamlease Services.

While most have social media behaviour as a part of their employee handbooks, some are looking at tackling it through internal communication or launching social awareness programmes.

"These (policies) are now being extended to how employees may portray themselves or the company in social media and what sort of information may be disclosed by them on social media," said Vinay Joy, partner at law firm Khaitan & Co.

Emails sent to TCS, Infosys, Tech Mahindra and Wipro had not been answered at the time this article was published.

HCL Technologies' Chief Human Resource Officer Apparao  VV told Moneycontrol last month that the company keeps apprising employees of existing social media and grievance redressal policies through internal emails and communication.

"We have also hired the Neuro Linguistic Institute, which tests people if they have any unconscious bias," he said.

As an example, he explained that a prospective employer might unconsciously have a tendency to prefer a male candidate for a night shift job over a female candidate. The training will help employees overcome such bias against different categories of people.

"This is something we are doing top to bottom (job levels). In the US we have covered 40 percent of the people. We are showing mirrors to people, and helping them get trained," Apparao said.

Another challenge organisations face is bring-your-own-device policy, which makes it difficult to track what employees are doing on their social media accounts.

Most workplaces now require employees to declare their views as personal, if they disclose their company affiliations in their social profiles.

"It can be quite difficult to take action against an employee’s social media activity if the company does not have a robust policy in place. It is imperative that employers balance their business interests against the employee’s right to privacy," said Joy.

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First Published on Nov 9, 2018 06:36 pm
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