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Social Media Violations in the Workplace

The privacy of your employees is important and employers have to be very careful. This includes social media accounts. Most employers know that they should not ask for login information of an employee. But what exactly does the law state regarding social media employee checks? It depends, in part, on the privacy laws of your state. It also depends on whether you’re conducting an inquiry on an existing employee or a new employee.

Social Media Background Checks for Pre-Employment

Hiring new employees? You can run a social media background check but you must get permission from the prospect before you do so. This is mandatory per FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). Some states also require specific disclosures as well. An FCRA compliant third party company will review and flag social media content in four business related categories:

  • Racist, Sexist, or Discriminatory Behavior
  • Sexually Explicit Material
  • Threats or Acts of Violence
  • Potentially Illegal Activity

Social Media Privacy Laws in Employment: 50-State Survey

It is important to understand the privacy laws when it pertains to social media by state as well. There is no federal law preventing employers from asking for employees’ or applicants’ social media usernames and passwords, or requiring employees or applicants to share any social media information that is not publicly available. However, a little over half of the states have enacted laws to protect employees and applicants in this situation. (

Workplace Harassment and Social Media

Most employers don’t even realize that they may be liable for workplace harassment online. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is a federal law that was enacted in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers and to encourage collective bargaining. Enforced by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the law protects the rights of employees to act together to address work conditions, whether or not they are part of a union. The protection covers work-related conversations conducted on social media.

An example of this is any publicly available post in social media in which a co-worker is being sexually harassed or placing derogatory statements away from the workplace. It is tough to keep a handle on it. One of the first lines of defense is to develop a workplace social media policy. Make sure all employees are aware of what it states.

Examples of social media violations in the workplace

Social media violations in the workplace can encompass a wide range of behaviors that are inappropriate, unprofessional, or potentially harmful to the work environment. Here are some examples:

Sharing Confidential Information: Posting sensitive company information, trade secrets, financial data, or proprietary information on social media platforms without authorization.

Harassment and Bullying: Using social media to target, harass, or bully colleagues, supervisors, or other individuals within or outside the organization.

Discriminatory Remarks: Making discriminatory comments, including those related to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or other protected characteristics, which can create a hostile work environment.

Defamation and Libel: Making false or damaging statements about the company, coworkers, or management that could harm their reputation or result in legal consequences.

Negative Publicity: Sharing negative opinions, complaints, or criticism about the company, products, or services, which could potentially harm the company’s image or business relationships.

Social Media Deep Web Scan

There may be times when you need to conduct some research into an employee. Perhaps their behavior at work is sending up some red flags, or you see a difference in their attitude towards fellow employees.

This is the time HR should get involved and perhaps take a closer look at what is publicly available online. At eChatter, a division of Ann Michaels & Associates, we offer this service to our clients. We work with Corporations, Private Investigators and Attorneys across the US.

We offer two types of scans, but for this purpose we would recommend a deep web scan. This is your best bet, especially when dealing with potential theft of services or goods for reselling purposes.

Contact us for more information.


Customer Service Superstars: How to Evaluate Call Center Performance

call center evaluations

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Conducting call center evaluations for customer service is essential for ensuring consistent quality and identifying areas for improvement. However, many companies just don’t have the resources available internally to conduct evaluations on a regular basis. This was the case for one of our clients, a specialty supplier of all types of metals, parts, and more. With over 100 locations, this made call center evaluations somewhat challenging.

We worked with the client to create a customized program that would supply them with the necessary data they were looking for. Who were their star performers? Who needed more training? Once established, this was integrated into their employee evaluations.

Here is an outline on how we created the program:

Starting Point

  1. Define Evaluation Criteria: Start by establishing clear and specific evaluation criteria. These criteria should align with your organization’s customer service standards and goals. Common evaluation criteria include communication skills, problem-solving abilities, product knowledge, empathy, professionalism, and adherence to company policies.
  2. Create Evaluation Forms: Design evaluation forms or scorecards that capture the defined criteria. The forms should be user-friendly and enable evaluators to score each criterion objectively. Use a scale (e.g., 1-5 or 1-10) to rate performance consistently.
  3. Train Evaluators: Ensure that the evaluators are well-trained on the evaluation process and criteria. Provide examples of both excellent and subpar interactions to establish a shared understanding of expectations.

Sample Size

  1. Random Sampling: Select calls for evaluation randomly from the call center’s daily interactions. Random sampling ensures a fair representation of agents’ performance and helps identify overall trends.
  2. Blind Evaluation: For more unbiased results, consider conducting blind evaluations where the evaluator does not know which agent handled the call. This helps prevent any personal biases from influencing the evaluation.

Monitor Improvement

  1. Identify Strengths and Areas for Improvement: After evaluating multiple calls, identify patterns in both positive and negative aspects of the interactions. Recognize agents’ strengths and acknowledge outstanding performance. Simultaneously, pinpoint areas where agents can improve and provide specific feedback.
  2. Provide Feedback: Schedule feedback sessions with individual agents to discuss the evaluation results. Deliver feedback constructively, highlighting successes, and offering actionable suggestions for improvement.
  3. Offer Training and Coaching: If specific areas of improvement are identified for multiple agents, consider providing additional training or coaching sessions to address these areas comprehensively.
  4. Track Progress: Regularly track agents’ progress over time. Use call center software and tools to monitor performance metrics and determine if evaluations lead to improvements.
  5. Recognize and Reward Excellence: Establish a recognition and rewards system to celebrate outstanding customer service performance. Recognizing top-performing agents can boost morale and motivation.
  6. Continuously Review and Improve: Customer service standards and customer expectations evolve, so regularly review and update your evaluation criteria and processes to keep them relevant.

By following these steps, you can create a structured and effective call center evaluation process that supports the development of top-notch customer service and enhances overall customer satisfaction.


Gaining the Competitive Edge: Unveiling the Power of Competitive Intelligence and Mystery Shopping

Competitive intelligence and mystery shopping are two related concepts that can provide valuable insights into a company’s competitive landscape and customer experience. Let’s explore each concept in more detail:

Competitive Intelligence

Competitive intelligence (CI) involves gathering and analyzing information about competitors, their products, strategies, and market positioning. The goal is to gain a competitive edge by understanding the market dynamics and making informed decisions. CI encompasses various techniques such as market research, data analysis, and information gathering from public sources, industry reports, competitor websites, and social media.

Key benefits of competitive intelligence include:

a. Identifying market trends and opportunities: CI helps identify emerging trends, customer preferences, and market gaps, allowing companies to adapt and innovate accordingly.

b. Understanding competitor strategies: By monitoring competitors’ activities, pricing, marketing campaigns, and product launches, companies can gain insights into their strengths, weaknesses, and future plans.

c. Benchmarking performance: CI enables companies to compare their performance with that of competitors, identify areas for improvement, and set realistic goals.

d. Mitigating risks: CI helps identify potential threats, such as new market entrants, regulatory changes, or disruptive technologies, allowing companies to take proactive measures.

The Role Mystery Shopping Plays in Competitive Intelligence

Mystery shopping involves hiring individuals or agencies to pose as regular customers and assess the quality of service, compliance with standards, and overall customer experience at a company’s physical or online locations. Mystery shoppers provide detailed reports about their observations, which can help companies evaluate and improve their operations.

Key aspects of mystery shopping include:

a. Evaluation of customer experience: Mystery shoppers assess factors like employee behavior, product knowledge, store cleanliness, waiting times, and overall satisfaction. This feedback helps companies identify gaps in customer service and make improvements.

b. Performance measurement: Mystery shopping provides objective data on key performance indicators (KPIs) such as sales techniques, upselling, cross-selling, adherence to protocols, and compliance with regulations. This information helps companies assess and incentivize employee performance.

c. Competitive benchmarking: Mystery shopping can compare a company’s performance against its competitors. By conducting similar evaluations across multiple companies, businesses can identify relative strengths and weaknesses in the marketplace.

d. Training and development: Feedback from mystery shopping exercises can guide training programs to enhance employee skills, improve service delivery, and align with customer expectations.

Combining Competitive Intelligence and Mystery Shopping: Competitive intelligence and mystery shopping can be complementary techniques. Competitive intelligence provides a broader understanding of the competitive landscape, while mystery shopping offers specific insights into customer experiences. By integrating the findings from both approaches, companies can make more informed decisions, develop effective strategies, and differentiate themselves in the market.