Another YouTube video stunt gets employees fired. This time it's Jamba Juice employees blending a Portabello Mushroom Six Dollar Burger from Carls Jr. in a Jamba Juice blender while the store was open for business. Three employees, who all appeared in the video, were fired.
These latest firings are just coming off the heels of firings at Domino's Pizza where an employee posted a video of himself, while his co-worker recorded it, doing some-less-than-desirable things to a sandwich he was making, such has putting a string of cheese up his nose before placing it in the sandwich.
Prior to the Domino's incident it was three female employees at a Kentucky Fried Chicken who decided to take a provocative bath in KFC's sink. And let's not forget the Burger King employee who also took a bath in the sink of the dish washing area of Burger King while his manager was in the front of the store.
Despite how funny some of these videos are, employees need to realize that there are consequences to having that kind of fun while on the clock, on company premises, and/or wearing company attire while engaging in such activity. Employees also need to know that in some cases these stunts may seem funny at the time, but in hindsight they are not funny at all because in severe cases it can damage a company's image and hurt sales, especially in cases where the stunt presents health risks to customers.
It is critical that companies do a better job at not only setting social media policies, but effectively communicating to employees what the policies are, why they're important to adhere to, and the consequences of breaking them.
The working relationship between the public relations and human relations departments at most companies is not really an integrated one, but with the rise of social media, it's time these two departments start working more closely together. Many PR departments and agencies are very active in social media, now it's time for HR to be equally active and to work with PR to avoid employees using social media to intentionally or unintentionally embarrass and hurt the company.
Smart companies will get this and begin taking steps toward having PR and HR work together to educate and prevent employees from using social media for what some employees may think is a fun and harmless stunt, but later leads to PR nightmares for the company and legal actions against employees. Having social media policies and best practices in place enables companies to hopefully prevent these stunts, but it also gives them the ability to take quick action and immediately address a situation as soon as it hits the Internet and goes viral.
To read more about the latest video stunt gone bad, see KCRA-TV's story on how Jamba Juice worker Lorenzo Adams lost his job, along with his two co-workers, after he posted the burger blending video on his YouTube channel. You can no longer watch the video because he has since made it private, but you can watch clips of it in the KCRA story.