We live in an era in which information can be shared for anyone in a matter of seconds. However, this capacity of being connected has allowed the spread of unreliable and false information. Even worse, misinformation can put our own safety at risk, especially at current times.
It was the case of a message that started to circulate through social media a couple of months ago. This message ensured the use of digital thermometers, commonly used before people enter into facilities, offices or supermarkets to check body temperature, could damage your eyes, brain or “kill your neurons”. Experts didn’t delay in refuting this theory.
Today we share our findings on how fake news can affect employee safety and we also provide you with useful recommendations to help you handle misinformation spreading at your workplace.
How does fake news impact businesses?
Fake news is a real issue at the workplace. A study done by Leadership IQ showed that 59% of the leaders and professionals surveyed were concerned about fake news in their workplace. A different study conducted by SocialChorus revealed that preventing the spread of misinformation at work is a top priority for executives-level managers.
Why is it a high concern? Because of the negative results and damages on the trust and other employees’ attitudes. In fact, the same Leadership IQ’s survey found that leaders and professionals had seen an increase in the following employee’s behaviors as a result of false formation in their workplaces: criticism (53%), making excuses (53%), dismissing ideas of others (48%) and even lying (27%).
When it comes to safety, fake news can generate an atmosphere of mistrust and anxiety among employees on how their safety and well-being is handled. But in the worst scenario, employees can put themselves at risk, resulting in severe consequences.
How to handle misinformation in my workplace?
Consider the following tips for managing misinformation at your workplace:
Encourage your employees to consult verified sources of information
Although for some people fake news can be hard to believe, the reality is that not everybody takes the time to verify if something that has read is true or not. Encourage your employees to consult the local government health information or check updated information on official sites such as OSHA and the CDC.
Build a fluent and transparent communication
Make sure you have the right communications channels for getting your employees informed as well as to communicate with them frequently. Moreover, regular and transparent communication will give you more visibility on what employees are more concerned or need to clarify. In doing so, you can solve their questions daily or share regular updates.
Put safety first
Safety is not a choice. Remember that employers have the responsibility for determining the best safety practices at work. For this reason, it is important that leaders be able to build a strong safety culture at the workplace to promote particular behaviors and attitudes among employees. Demonstrate to employees their safety is more important than any doubtful information. As a safety professional said: “regardless of what your personal opinions are, it’s better to be safe than sorry”.
Kwema helps professionals to mitigate potential risks and hazards by providing safety wearables to employees. Our safety devices have the capability of activating an emergency protocol, alerting safety supervisors or 911. Additionally, Kwema’s technology is designed to keep training costs low.
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