Mixed Messages

January 9, 2023

With the plethora of digital communication used by companies today, it is important that protocols are put in place as to the standards expected by users of them. With the use of internal messaging communication forums becoming more and more popular systems such as WhatsApp, Slack, Hub and the like allowing departments and teams to communicate instantly and effortlessly, it is easy to see why they have grown in popularity; however, it is important to establish a protocol and set expectations of the language and standards of conduct acceptable on these channels and forums. We have had several cases recently where employees have caused offence by being too familiar or unprofessional whilst using these systems leading to grievances and disciplinary action being taken. However, it is easily done, especially when on some channels lighthearted office chat is allowed where at other times a normal business approach is expected, the lines of what is acceptable is blurred. By establishing ground rules from the start, ideally in a written protocol, problems such as these should be eradicated. If you need help with drafting these, give us a shout. You should also remember that if you have a dispute with an employee, you could end up with having to release these messages to an employment tribunal, which could be embarrassing.