There’s been a recent trend sweeping the employer/employee dynamic in most businesses—a happening that’s been slowly moving en masse towards a realignment of management-worker relationships for years to come.
By and large, it’s been mostly subtle.
What’s been happening is that workers have been slowly asserting themselves using social media to literally influence and shape how their employer’s brand is perceived by others.
And there’s very little anyone can do to stop it.
When consumers you’ve never met, start rating your brands or your company in public forums where you have no experience or influence, your company is vulnerable. Some would go so far as to even consider it an attack on their livelihood.
This shift towards employee emphasis is known collectively as a groundswell. It’s a social and cultural phenomenon that’s affected how business conduct and police themselves—and usually within the court of public opinion.
The online version of Webster’s Dictionary heralds the definition of the term groundswell as follows:
ground´swell.` Pronunciation: ground´swĕl`. n. 1. A long, deep wave in the sea,
sometimes caused by distant winds or storms.
2. A rising sentiment of support or enthusiasm, especially among the general public;
as, a groundswell of opinion favoring campaign finance reform.
Additionally, while Sir Winston Churchill’s book, The Gathering Storm, may have foretold the rise of European fascism, the title itself is most apropos for illustrating the concept of the groundswell.
Greg Weiss, founder of CareerSupport365.com, suggests that, rather than try to eliminate the reconfiguring of their brand—which is nearly impossible due to the preponderance of sites such as Yelp!, RateItAll, Glassdoor, Angie’s List, and other UGC sites—business owners and executives may want to ensure they onboard newly-hired employees and care for recently laid off employees in as constructive and positive a manner as possible. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it helps to present a positive image of the employer to the online universe.
Businesses won’t kill groundswells. The key for continued success and potential redemption is containment.
“In an age where social media dictates how well or poorly something or someone is received, perception is all-encompassing,” Weiss notes. “Additionally. . .all companies (need) to recognize the importance of not only investing time, money and other valuable resources in the hiring process, but to also take an identical approach when having to let someone go—otherwise the potential economic and social fallout could spell disaster for that company’s particular brand.”
Weiss also attributes the sharp increase in UGC sites such as Glassdoor directly to a palpable disconnect between how well—or poorly—former employees were treated while on the job, in addition to the level of career transition support upon being outplaced.
In order to counteract the inevitable barrage of negative press, Weiss observes that “very rare is the company that can suffer through a seemingly never ending onslaught of negative publicity and escape with their reputation intact.”
By going with the flow, accepting and adapting to change, as well as acknowledging the many contributions made by present and former employers to the company, Weiss is suggesting that, despite the financial and social hit many businesses encounter, they can emerge from these challenges with a minimum of discomfort at best.
Breaking down definitions and seeking new ones
While the first Webster definition could easily be referencing oceanographic disturbances, the savvy reader, attuned to subtle nuances, might interpret said storms and winds as a strong undercurrent of discontent and tension at the workplace, especially where already-tenuous worker-employer relations exist.
The fact that such storms may be “distant” has already set an ominous tone for potential future relations among management and rank-and-file.
Meteorologically speaking, whenever dark clouds gather low in the sky, it’s a near-guarantee that the resulting storms will wreak havoc to a certain extent. As with any sudden cloudburst, we deal with it appropriately, such as wearing protective clothing or seeking nearby shelter to keep dry until everything’s cleared up. Then we survey our fallout—how wet or how dry we were—and we move on with our lives.
And so it is with navigating the aforementioned groundswell—all people, regardless of job status, need to make a shift in their basic behavior, so that they can better recognise a groundswell’s innate benefits: 1) better communication; worker-friendly environments; and 2) employers needing to shift where necessary to help out all employees on their way out.
Webster’s second definition delves directly into the mass of humanity representing the workers, alluding to the general public’s rising support and enthusiasm for certain hot-button topics, be it immigration; abortion; politics, etc.
Something significant had to play out on a large stage in order for the powers-that-be to reconsider their heretofore unwavering choices.
Think of college students protesting at the height of the Vietnam War. Or consumers so mesmerized with Apple products that they, together with Steve Jobs, were able to spread its revolutionary message to the world. Or even the election of the first bi-racial American president—a feat completely unthinkable not even ten years ago.
CareerSupport365.com has been at the vanguard of this irreversible trend by anticipating the use of social media to influence employer brands, and also offers those who have lost their jobs a perfect opportunity to re-inventing themselves for future prospective employers. We offer online tailor-made learning modules, career counseling and additional support 24/7/365.
Additionally, CarrerSupport365 reduces the risk of negatively impacting your employer brand—the overriding concern all businesses have—while providing outstanding customer service and restoring dignity to those who lost their jobs.
For further information visit www.CareerSupport365.com.
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Learn more about Greg Weiss here.