Do you trust your employees to represent your brand?
Businesses spend years crafting their brand’s image and reputation, however, in the age of social media, this can all be lost in a heartbeat.
Do you trust your employees with such a valuable and delicate aspect of your company? As the outward facing portion of your business, they have considerable influence on its public perception.
This is made even more difficult by the fact that they are still representing it even when they are off the clock, providing a challenge for HR departments. And with nearly everyone possessing a smartphone these days, every employee is also an international ambassador, whether you like it or not.
What are the current trends?
According to a report produced by insurance firm Aon, reputation damage is the number one concern for businesses when it comes to risk management. Despite being described by the company as an “intangible asset”, the costs associated with it are anything but, with businesses spending significant amounts to ensure that it remains secure.
Reputational risk is also a concern that is growing. In the 2013 edition of Aon’s survey, it ranked as the fourth biggest security concern. This year it is number one.
Aon stated the concerns are amplified for companies that engage in international business, as their risk policies need to account for a variety of cultures, languages and people to ensure their international presence isn’t jeopardised. HR software can help manage these policies to ensure all staff are on board.
Is it all bad news?
Not at all. It’s up to businesses to ensure their staff are capable of maintaining a positive public profile, so it is well within a business’s ability to manage its own risk profile. According to a statement from ManpowerGroup Australia, companies can increase their chances of keeping a favourable appearance with employees and the public.
“A great employer that is transparent with its company information, and genuinely develops, engages and invests in its workforce and workplace culture should have greater comfort in trusting employees to positively represent their brand,” explained Sue Howse, general manager at ManpowerGroup Solutions.
“You’ll never be able to guarantee what an employee will say about your organisation. However, employers that focus on, and measure, employee engagement regularly, will have a better idea of the sentiment and potential issues that exist among employees.”
Social networking also benefits businesses by allowing them to communicate with their customers through social channels. According to data from Global Web Index, the average person has accounts on more than five different social media platforms, greatly increasing the ways in which a company can reach its target audience.