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Dropping workplace tracks : this actually happens

This actually happened back around Halloween, but if you are a typical HR practitioner, stressed and overworked, you probably missed it.

Worked trying to organize a union in their workplace used cell phones and the SoundCloud app to record and post management conversations, spreading the files via social media.

Brennan W. Bolt of the Labor Relations Today blog fid a great summary of the event, shared in part below:

In a public relations nightmare for a Georgia employer, Gawker.com published yesterday an article analyzing a 21-minute audio recording (and the recording itself) consisting primarily of a meeting between management and employees to discuss an upcoming union election and what the employees could expect in the next month leading up to the election. This was

Gawker’s lede:

When a union attempts to organize a workplace, the management inevitably tries to talk workers out of it. Usually, that happens out of the public eye. But at one workplace, an audio recorder was running

It is rare for a recording like this to surface, but that is likely to change given the proliferation of smart phones that make recording and publishing conversations and meetings such as this very easy. The article does not state how the recording was made, but presumably it was secretly made by an employee attending the meeting and, according to the article, was emailed to a list of labor journalists.

Sure, these are some union dudes, and you aren’t dealing with a union, so this is boring, right? Ask yourself this. Have you been surreptitiously recorded? Is one of your managers saying something stupid right now that is being digitally recorded and could go viral tomorrow?

This should be keeping HR people up at night.

You could also be doing something about it .

– use this example to create a case study and share it with your management team.

– review your policy on electronic devices in the work place and make sure it is up to date, and meets your organizational business .

– understand the law on recording.

– practice positive employee relations every day.

Want to be really radical? Record meetings with your managers. Edit the files, create some dramatic content and play it back for them to create a very personal experience. (You should probably forewarn people you are going to record them in the near future. Recording without permission is illegal in some jurisdictions.)

You’ll freak people out, but simulated learning is always better than learning a real life lesson under duress.

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