How do we manage our online corporate reputation when the whole world knows you’ve just retrenched people?
Anonymous Business Leader
The online world is near impossible to regulate. There are many sites where disgruntled employees and ex-employees can vent their frustrations. Most rational people will know to take some of this feedback with a massive grain of salt. Even so, it’s a good idea to monitor all the social media and job portal sites regularly to check what is being said about your organization and whether there’s any validity in their stories or complaints.
Your organization has multiple stakeholders – Business Partners, Investors, Customers, Internal staff, Exiting staff, and more. Do ensure that your organization has put in place clear and fair guidelines for the exit exercise – business justifications are communicated clearly, all possible avenues for resource reallocation exhausted, retraining opportunities, fair severance package, and outplacement support.
If your organizational restructuring only impacts a small number of exiting employees, you can keep the news quiet and confidential. Do your part to ensure the exiting employee has support for his/her career transition. There are many stories of individuals who, though they were retrenched, would still say good things about their former employers.
In situations where large-scale exits have to be done, a properly crafted message and an announcement by the Business Leader would help greatly in managing the corporate reputation. Bad things happen. Tough decisions have to be made. The difference is in how the Leadership is perceived in taking accountability to ensure that they’ve considered all options, made rational business decisions, and ensured fair practices.
When managed properly, not only does the corporate reputation remain intact, so will the company's stock prices, customer loyalty, employee retention, and future recruitment.
Do reach out for further discussion!