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Ideas for Using the Internet as a Pro-active Employee Relations Tool

December 1, 1999
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Some ways you can use employee surfing to the advantage of your company:

  1. Put your ear to the virtual ground.
    Use electronic tools to quickly gauge what’s on people’s minds. What are the issues that get the attention of cyber-surfers, chat room participants, or bulletin board contributors? Whether aimed at your company, a competitor, or employers in general, get up an up to the minute employee relations weather report.
  2. Develop an effective defense strategy.
    Let’s say you do come across some bad press about your company. Use credible Internet sites to quickly assess the extent of the employee relations impact. By hearing directly from those who care strongly enough to participate in these online forums, you will get a better handle on issues important to them.
  3. Keep things in perspective.
    The Internet is a just in time information highway. Like other climate surveys, what they say should be interpreted in a broader context of the current environment.
  4. Save the bookmark.
    Return to reliable sites to get a longer view of what changes in the workplace prompt virtual discussion, when the discussion starts following these events, the extent to which the views express those of the broader workforce, and how long it takes for discussion to taper off.
  5. Test the waters before jumping in.
    The anonymity of the web allows some people to more freely express feelings or ideas they would be reluctant to share with others in person. But it’s always a good idea to confirm information through multiple sources.

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