Saturday, January 14, 2012

LinkedIn Trouble

At the MIM KL Toastmasters meeting, I was given the role of Speech Evaluator for Vince Tay, a seasoned Toastmaster who delivered his advanced speech from the Humorously Speaking manual. It is never easy to evaluate an accomplished speaker, more so one who is also a humorist. But the challenge spurred me on and I believe I did well. Actually, I was good because I was voted the Best Evaluator. Truth be told, today’s speeches and evaluations deserve a 5-star rating! Yup, they were that good!

If there is anything to complain about, it is that I am in a peeve that the meeting began to meander. Although the meeting started on time, it went haywire between the Presidential Address and the Refreshment Break. The biggest culprit was the Table Topics Master because she took at least half-an-hour to complete the entire session, instead of the alloted twenty minutes – with seven speakers, a long-drawn introduction and a tiresome closing.

Still, I would be the first to admit that it was a great meeting! I would score it a 7 out of a 10.

A report by the UK’s The Telegraph on January 05, 2012 tells of a HR executive who was forced out of his job after angering his employer by putting his CV online and declaring that he was interested in other “career opportunities”.

John Flexman is thought to be the first person in the UK to bring a case for constructive dismissal after a dispute with bosses over his profile on the professional networking site LinkedIn.

Flexman who worked with the BG Group, a major gas exploration firm based in Reading, Berks – where he earned a £68,000 salary in charge of graduate recruitment – related that he was ordered to remove his CV and thereafter, accused of “inappropriate use of social media” and called to attend an internal disciplinary hearing. He was additionally accused of including confidential information in his CV such as details about how he had reduced the firm's the rate of staff attrition.

However, Flexman explained to the Reading Employment Tribunal that the details he posted were available in the company’s annual reports and that 21 of his colleagues, including the manager of the disciplinary process, had ticked the "career opportunities" box but had not been disciplined.

LinkedIn is social networking service similar to Facebook, but focused on building professional rather than personal relationships. More than eight million British members are encouraged to keep a record of their skills and experience online and up-to-date to help them make useful business contacts.

The dispute over his profile led to Flexman’s resignation in June following a breakdown in his relationship with senior executives.

The case raises broad issues for how employees use websites such as LinkedIn. According to a study of the service in 2007, around half its members indicate they are interested in career opportunities on their profile.

It doesn’t happen only in the UK – I am positive we will find it everywhere else. Is it wrong to be on a lookout for career opportunities? The issue really is whether the employee can better himself or herself elsewhere or the employer values him or her in order to ensure he or she remains loyal in the longer-term. We all have to live with labor mobility, do we not?

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