Putting out fires


‘Come not between the dragon and his wrath’

These words of Shakespeare’s King Lear have resonated across the ages and surely must be heeded in this age of Twitter, Instagram, and Glassdoor. A disgruntled and angry employee is no different from a dragon spewing fire and the cost on account of the ensuing firestorm can be enormous. Companies would be wise not to ignore the dragons within their ranks.

Leader-IBLJ-21902-216x300Keeping track of and managing disgruntled employees has long been a challenge. Yet, it is one that can no longer be ignored. For with the strengthening and solidifying of the improbable relationship between a person’s inner thoughts, emotions and their smartphones apps, the task has taken on a new urgency. Are companies, and their human resources departments, up to this task?

This month’s Cover story takes an in-depth look at the legal aspects of handling the inevitable disgruntled employee. As we detail, the law stands on the side of disgruntled employees if they do not harbour ill-intentions and companies need to ensure an adequate grievance mechanism is in place. While listing steps to be taken after a complaint is received from an employee, we also look at the duties and obligations of intermediaries, which include social media providers. Brand reputation is essential and companies must handle such potential reputational risks in a proactive manner.

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