Most CEO’s understand the importance of proactively managing their external reputation, but how many make the same effort to understand and manage internal reputation?
Your employees are the single most powerful stakeholder group you have, not because their productivity determines your profit, but because if they don’t buy into you, your strategy and the behaviours of the entire leadership team, they have the power to inflict serious reputational and financial damage!
Employee word of mouth has gained in importance in recent years now and global platforms like glassdoor.com are becoming the ‘go to’ space for outsiders to get the inside story. There’s even now an employee’s choice award for the best CEO’s on their site which will soon displace the traditional Fortune 500 list as the definitive guide.
Disgruntled employees making disparaging comments online is nothing new and most people take these stories with a pinch of salt. What is new is the cohort of millennials in ever more senior positions whose inner activist has a finely tuned ‘bullsh!t radar’. If they smell a rat, they aren’t scared to point it out.
Looking at employee engagement and internal communications through the lens of reputation management helps leaders contextualise the importance and complexity of the task at hand… and hopefully put the right effort and resources into making sure the risks are mitigated and the opportunities are leveraged!