Just when we wanted something – anything – to divert our attention from the Casey Anthony coverage, word leaked this week that Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams has just sued his ex-girlfriend for the return of a $76,000 engagement ring that he sent with a recorded marriage proposal – – by mail. By mail? Really? His signed affidavit does not elucidate how the proposal was “recorded”. Was it an audio tape? A YouTube video? I suppose it could’ve been a quick tweet, since “Will you marry me, and by the way please sign the return receipt so I know you got my $76,000 ring” still falls well within Twitter’s 140-character limit.
Where am I going with this? Social media has taught employers many things. About the need to establish particular policies, the care that should be taken when searching for background information on current and potential employees (more on this on Monday), and generally the concerns over making rash decisions based on an employee’s social media post. But a much larger point should not be lost – the art of communication.
The success of your business still depends on the ability to communicate, both with the workforce you employ and with those clients and customers you hope will want your services or products. Social media remains a simple and informal way of reaching out to someone to make a proposal or attempt to close a deal. Yet, the benefits of social media should not completely replace your employees knowing how to engage in an in-person communication or simply picking up a phone.
Employer Take Away: What should you as an employer take away from this development?
Good client and customer service comes from good, old fashioned communication. Have a nice ring to it? I have commented many times about how important it is for you (with the aid of counsel) to establish social media policies and best practices that comport with the myriad of laws that are now being applied to the social media context. But do I also think it is vitally important as well that you conduct appropriate trainings to teach your employees, particularly your supervisors and those who regularly communicate with the outside world, how to properly communicate and develop relationships with people to help lead your company? I do.