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How to handle employees like Gareth Cliff, Penny Sparrow or Velaphi Khumalo making racist comments in your workplace

by , 03 February 2016
You must've heard all the recent news about racist remarks on social media. Employees have faced consequences from a slap on the wrist to immediate dismissal. Even though Penny Sparrow was using social media in her personal capacity, her company name was linked to her profile and brought the company's name into disrepute. You should be very worried about what could happen if you had a Penny Sparrow working for you.

Because, if an employee makes racist comments on social media and it links to your workplace, you may land up having to take action against an employee to protect your company!

Make sure you aren't on the backend of racial media coverage... You need to ensure your employees know the boundaries that you'll tolerate around the use of social media.

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How to implement a Social Media Policy in your company in minutes
Statistic: It was recently reported that in one company with 600 employees, 79% of the employees time was spent on social networking or gaming sites!!
And while they're busy surfing online, how sure are you that any racist or defamation comments won't be linked back to you?

Take control of your work environment. Implement a customised Social Media Policy now…

Decide what leeway you'll allow when it comes to using social media

Having a social media policy outlining rules to manage employees' behaviours when using social media could protect your company. You must also spell out the consequences if they breach this policy. It also prescribes when employees must identify their ideas and opinions as being private and not representative of your company.
Take back control of your work environment by implementing your customised Social Media Policy now.
Here are 3 items your social media policy must outline
Make sure your policy covers 3 scenarios you can adapt and implement at your work place to manage Social Media interactions:
1.    Restrict who can make official company statements on social media sites.
2.    State if you want to allow all your employees to use work-related social media.
3.    If you want to allow personal use of social media during work hours or using company facilities

But racism isn't exclusive to social media! Keep reading for a checklist on how to handle complaints of racism within your company.

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Checklist: How to deal with incidents of racism

  • Encourage your employees to report any incidents of racism or racist behaviour.
  • If you're aware of an incident of racism in your workplace, investigate the matter immediately.
  • If an incident of racism has taken place, you must discipline the employee who committed the act in terms of your disciplinary code.
  • Failure to report racism should also be a disciplinary offence. Advise your employees of this.
  • But, if the allegations are untrue and unfounded, then you must discipline the employee who made those allegations.
  • Always remember to follow the correct procedures when applying the appropriate forms of discipline.
  • Reassure the innocent employee you don't tolerate racism in your workplace.
  • Offer assistance to the employee who has been affected by the racism.

So there you have it – now you know how to deal with racism that could tarnish your company name.


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