Protecting the well-being of those at work through managing trolling behavior

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellent (NICE) has provided guidance to those responsible for promoting mental wellbeing at work. This includes all employers and their representatives, irrespective of the size of the business or organisation and whether they are in the public, private, or voluntary sectors. It may also be of interest to professionals working in human resources or occupational health, employees, trade unions representatives and members of the public.

The guidance says that it is necessary to adopt, interventions to promote mental wellbeing through productive and healthy working conditions. And tackling trolling is an important part of this, especially as many employees now share accounts on Facebook or LinkedIn, among other social networks.

Mental wellbeing at work is determined by the interaction between the working environment, the nature of the work and the individual.

The five recommendations of NICE cover: strategy, assessing opportunities for promoting mental well-being and managing risk, flexible working, the role of line managers, and supporting micro, small and medium-sized businesses. They include:

  • Promoting a culture of participation, equality and fairness that is based on open communication and inclusion. This includes making sure flame trollers don’t make active members return to lurking.
  • Using frameworks such as Health and Safety Executive management standards for work-related stress to promote and protect employee mental well-being. The issue of mental health and personal safety are the key issues in online communities.
  • Consider particular models of flexible working that recognise the distinct characteristics of micro, small and medium-sized businesses and organisations. This can include managing the use of social networking during office hours, or more flexible policies for home-working.