Six Steps to Prevent Reputational Damage
- Date: Thursday 23rd November 2017
- PDF: Download
Protecting your business and your brand by reducing the risk of reputational damage to a minimum is a fundamental requirement for all organisations. There are six steps that you can take to reduce risk:
1. Implement a social media policy
Employers should implement and communicate to their workforce a social media policy that sets out clear rules on social media use. For example, a policy can remind staff not to assume that comments they make on Twitter or Facebook are private.
The policy must state that the implications of breaching the rules will be disciplinary action. Please contact SSG if you do not have a social media policy
2. Deal with inappropriate comments on social media
If an employee posts inappropriate comments about the organisation on social media, the employer should immediately gather evidence and ask the employee to remove the material. After investigating the incident, disciplinary action should be considered.
3. Train line managers in recruitment practices
It is important that line managers manage the process following a selection decision in a professional manner, especially when informing someone that their application has been unsuccessful. There have been a number of recent examples where disgruntled applicants have posted poorly communicated rejection messages on social media, creating significant risk to the employer’s reputation and brand.
4. Warn staff of expected conduct outside the workplace
Misconduct outside the workplace can negatively affect the public image of an organisation and consequently its reputation. Line managers should warn employees about their behaviour in advance of a workplace or public event.
If an employee has committed a criminal offence outside of work, the employer should consider dismissal only where continued employment would seriously damage the organisation’s reputation.
5. Prepare for gender pay gap reporting
Employers with more than 250 staff will be required by 4th April 2018 to publish gender pay gap figures. Employers should see this as a positive opportunity to give a commentary on how small their gender pay gap is and how it has reduced over time.
6. Consider adverse publicity before fighting tribunal claims
Employment tribunal decisions are available online and can attract a negative media response or put off job applicants from working for the organisation. This could occur for example if a line manager has behaved inappropriately or acted in a discriminatory manner. Employers need to consider the risk of reputational damage when deciding whether or not to defend or settle a tribunal claim.