In November 2018, 20,000 people protested in a massive Google walkout after it was revealed that Andy Rubin, the “father of Android”, received a $90 million severance package while Google chose to conceal the fact that his resignation had been triggered by sexual misconduct allegations. It was later revealed that Google had protected three top executives in a similar manner – by paying multi-million exit packages and keeping quiet about the claims.
According to ERC, a single harassment claim can cost a company between $75K and $125K if it is settled out of court. If the case goes to court and the employer is found liable, the numbers can skyrocket easily.
As claims of employee misconduct and sexual harassment rise, there’s still a steady increase in the adoption of social media by enterprises, small businesses and organizations in the public sector. Like text messages, social media and instant messaging platforms are extremely effective in terms of employee productivity and cooperation. However, the unmonitored use of these communication channels can result in multiple negative consequences – security threats, leaks of critical business information and undetected employee misconduct, including sexual harassment.
The monitoring and retention of not only email, but all other unstructured data, has become a critical aspect of business operations, especially in highly regulated industries like the financial. In 2015, Deutsche Bank AG dealt with increased scrutiny from financial regulators due to problems with retaining chat records. Bloomberg reported a glitch in the company’s system which caused records from as far back as 2005 to be lost. This revelation came on the heels of a $2.5 billion settlement with regulators in the US and UK over rate adjustment irregularities and exposed the bank to further investigation and penalties. This highlighted the need for organizations with regulatory requirements to seek secure solutions that they can leverage to store, access and retrieve electronic data.
Insights for HR: From Knowledge to Risk Management
The big data wave has spread out across many companies, moving from a few specific and limited applications into new and diverse areas. The expansion of big data into the human resources field is one of the best examples of this business trend, as a department focused on employee engagement, health, performance and other hard-to-define metrics is starting to embrace this resource.
Success in measuring a variety of critical HR metrics can be the result of new approaches and systems to better understand both employee sentiment and performance. The use of data, whether structured or unstructured, to determine various metrics related to performance, potential and employee loyalty is an approach that often proves more effective than the traditionally used subjective ranking methods. In terms of employee sentiment and engagement, as well as recruiting, compliance and some other important HR fields, social media data is especially valuable.Human resources teams can use social media data capture to improve engagement and many other aspects of operations. Click To Tweet
With so many potential applications in the HR field, company and department leaders have to consider how to best approach and use the information that employees share and exchange on social media and chat apps, external or internal. Social media monitoring software, used alongside capture and archiving tools, creates a searchable database that can provide a deep level of insight into the minds of employees and can be used as part of a risk mitigation strategy.
This brings us back to sexual harassment and misconduct. If your company has official social media profiles or if your employees use their personal profiles to share business information, you need to take appropriate steps to define what kind of content can and cannot be shared.
This is especially vital in K-12 education, where school districts face a pressing challenge of taking care of students on campus but also in the digital sphere. Educators are now required to monitor internet browsing and use social media monitoring in order to keep students safe and prevent liability issues for the school.
Recent cases of teacher misconduct most commonly involve teachers posting photos of students on social media without being aware that the images might be protected by FERPA or other student privacy acts. There have been, however, more serious cases like the 2018 case where Liberty Elementary School District was faced with a lawsuit after a female teacher engaged in a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old student, whom she allegedly approached using the school’s own social media app.
How to Prevent the Spoliation of Evidence
Even when minors are not involved, organizations need to have insight into how their employees use social media. An employee can engage in sexual harassment over a corporate chat platform and delete the message, leaving HR and legal departments without crucial evidence. There have been cases of employees deliberately using social media chat apps to distribute sensitive information or plan fraud because they were aware that their organization wasn’t retaining social media, unlike email.
To prevent this, organizations need systems in place. As more than 90% of organizations in regulated industries already archive email, the best way to start archiving social media content is to find an integrated solution that can do both. Social media archiving functionality can often be activated within your existing email archiving platform and can, in most cases, be customized to retain only the social media channels your organization is actively using.
Social media archiving solutions give organizations the possibility to define rules, that is, to define a keyword list and populate it with words and phrases that they want the social media and IM conversations monitored for. If the specified words are used, compliance officers or HR manager can be notified.
Jatheon is an email, social media and mobile archiving specialist with 15 years of experience in regulated industries. We’ve helped 500+ organizations to ensure regulatory compliance and improve social media governance. With Jatheon’s new social media, mobile and WhatsApp archiving functionalities, your organization will be able to properly and securely capture, search and control 20+ communication channels in a single repository. To discuss your archiving plan or get more information about Jatheon’s social media archiving solution, contact us or schedule a personal demo.