Reputation Management and Employee (Dis)Satisfaction


A company's reputation can be damaged by dissatisfied clients who are vocal (both in speech and in writing) about why they're unhappy. This is especially true in industries in which your clients know each other and know your competitors (outsourcing of call center services come to mind.)

This post is focused on a different angle of reputation management -- understanding and appropriately reacting to what your employees are saying about you.

It used to be, employees who were upset or angry with their company told their co-workers, friends, and family. They still do that, however, they now also have on-line outlets to allow complete anonymity i.e. Glassdoor,CareerBliss, GradeMyJob, and Indeed.

Just as we are more apt to complain when we're annoyed than when we're pleased, employees who post on these sites often have an axe to grind, and their complaints may not be wholly legitimate. Nonetheless, employers are making a mistake if they do not read these posts, or if read them and dismiss them as being sour grapes from a disgruntled employee.

Dos and Don'ts for Senior Management

  • Do read the posts with the mindset they contain at least a kernel of truth.
  • Do listen to the little voice in your head saying “Uh oh, I understand why she feels that way.”
  • Do make note of matters indisputably needing to be addressed, and acknowledge ‘easy-to-fix’ issues right away.
  • Don't try to figure out who wrote the post. You will be wrong a majority of the time, and more importantly, it really doesn't matter who wrote it.
  • Don't shy away from time-consuming and difficult steps. If one manager's name keeps popping up as being tied to employee dissatisfaction, you likely have an issue and you owe it to your employees and your company to address it.  Of course, there are many ways you can do this without referring to the post.
  • Don't try to shield higher-ups from what is being said in these posts. Strong leaders will appreciate the active approach you are taking to investigate and fix concerns before they get out-of-hand.

Everyone understands the benefits of assessing and improving employee satisfaction; your company's reputation should be part of the list.

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