If there’s one thing all of us carry, it’s our reputation. More than anything else, our good name, once besmirched, is incredibly difficult to recover and repair.
I’m not referring in this case to a teenager’s amorous adventures. When applied to the business world, one of the highest values foundations to its reputation is how a company treats its employees. The term that is used to denote this scenario is employer branding, and it was first defined in 1996 in an article written by Barrow and Ambler for the Journal of Brand Management.
More than anything else in a company’s day-to-day operation, its universal perception is critical to its success. Any negative publicity is nearly always guaranteed to adversely affect the company and generate subsequent fallout that will cause even further unintended damage.
And when it comes to social media and user-generated content (UGC) sites, bitter ex-employees have a field day trashing their former employers.
I authored an article that was first published in the July 2013 issue of Keeping good companies, the journal of Chartered Secretaries of Australia www.CSAust.com.
In the process of downsizing, this particular firm not only eliminated numerous management positions, but also failed their former associates by providing no adequate career transition support. Nor were these loyal, hard-working employees even offered so much as a thank-you for their dedication and service.
The resulting negative groundswell emanating from the collective voices of these poorly-treated ex-employees led to lost clients—and worse, lost revenue due to retrenchment.
UGC: Somethin’ to Talk About
A company’s employer brand can make or break its future. That’s why, in these days of 24/7/365 social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), employers have to be hyper-diligent to ensure a positive local and/or worldwide reputation, and that any negative fallout is contained as completely as possible. In recent years, UGC sites such as Rotten Tomatoes, RateItAll, and Angie’s List have made a significant impact in how a particular company, brand or individual is perceived.
So when the American R and B singer Bonnie Raitt warbled, “Let’s give ‘em somethin’ to talk about,” or when the late Harry Nilsson sang, “Everybody’s talkin’ about me,” they weren’t being facetious.
The fact is, gossip is rampant. Keep repeating something over and over, especially where a disgruntled employee is concerned, and sooner or later, others form similar opinions about that big, bad, evil company that chews up its workers and spits them out after they’ve finished taking advantage of them.
While employee-management friction is nothing new, how it’s handled is paramount.
CareerSupport365 (CS365) conducted a research study with approximately 500 recently-unemployed people in Sydney, Los Angeles, and Vancouver. We found a strong undercurrent of resentment by the vast majority of those polled towards their former employers.
So what is this telling businesses who want to maintain and strengthen their employer brand?
According to my article in CSAust journal Keeping good companies, simply put, online reputation will become central to the ongoing sustainability of companies in the future, thanks to UGC sites such as Yelp and Glassdoor. This reality makes it even more imperative for businesses to cultivate an atmosphere of mutual trust and humane, ethical standards that treat employees as valuable individuals.
CareerSupport365 has been at the vanguard of this movement to work with companies in providing recently-terminated workers the necessary support systems for retraining and re-incorporation into the working world. By doing so, any potential negative fallout is greatly curtailed, thus preserving the employer brand’s integrity and reputation.
Find out more. Contact CareerSupport365 now.
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Learn more about Greg Weiss here.