Not all threats to your company’s online reputation come at the hands of customers or competitors. A great deal of negativity is actually due to how your employees act. Many of these reputation-damaging incidents are not committed by those few who have a grudge against your company. Surprisingly, loyal workers often cause the worst damage when they think they are actually protecting your business.
You can help end these employee-based threats to your business’s online reputation by understanding the top three ways the people who work for you can hurt your company’s good name.
Common Ways Employees Cause Damage to Their Companies Online
Aggressive defense of company actions or policies. No one likes to feel their company is under attack online from someone, and many employees think they should respond somehow. However, despite any good intentions, reacting in the wrong way will cause much more misery for everyone involved than the initial criticism. You can limit the well-meaning, yet misplaced staff engagement by:
- Train a staff member who will be responsible for responding to all critical reviews and other negative PR online. Tell your employees to report any potential issues to this person and avoid engaging with the critic on their own.
Forgetting that the internet is connected. The idea that everything is connected online shouldn’t shock anyone, but many employees ignore the fact when it comes to behavior on non-company sites. Many people post where they work as part of their online profiles on social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. While doing this is often beneficial, it may also turn into the start of a PR disaster. You can help mitigate this if you:
- Require separate work and private social media accounts, and ban employees from using their personal accounts when conducting company business.
- Ensure that work and private social media accounts use separate log-in information. This approach will prevent hackers from accessing company accounts if a personal account is compromised.
- Train your staff about the benefits of using proper social media etiquette for both them and the company.
Actively trying to sabotage your company. You may be the best boss and run a great company, but whatever you do, you can’t always please everyone. Whether a current employee is unhappy about being passed over for a promotion or a former employee who distraught about being let go, you can expect negative employee comments from time to time. Worse still, a study found that one in 10 former employees are willing to lie about their experience with a company to hurt the business.
- Respond politely, once. Have your designated staff member respond to the issues brought up in the review, but don’t get drawn into a flame war. The last thing you want to do is to engage on a site with an angry employee or former employee and further damage your reputation.
- Report any comments you feel are unjust. Many review sites have a procedure in place that will allow you to dispute the legitimacy of a review.
Online reputation protection isn’t easy. But you don’t have to do it on your own. NetReputation’s online reputation monitoring and profile defenders services can help. Call 844-461-3632 to discover how they can help restore your rep!