Everyone company finds itself in a situation that needs handling carefully from time to time. Typically, this threat comes from external sources, usually from customers or clients who are not satisfied with the level of service they received. Sometimes, however, the damage is self-inflicted: it comes straight from within the office, from your own employees. This can occasionally be intentional, but more often than not it’s the result of an error that could have been prevented. Below, we take a look at a few steps you can take to ensure any PR problems you have aren’t of your own making.
Set the Expectations
You’ll have worked hard to establish a fun, happy working environment which your employees love. However, if things are too open and creative, then the staff can be confused as to what their responsibilities are, especially when it comes to representing the company. Make sure your employees are fully vetted on what is permissible and forbidden, and the topics of conversation they should be avoiding (which is more or less anything where people have extreme opinions). This is of greater importance to your employees who have access to your company social media accounts, but all employees should be aware of their responsibilities when representing the company.
Hire The Good Eggs
Ensuring there is no employee led PR disasters doesn’t start with your staff: it starts with you, and the wider hiring process. It’s a simple fact that many companies end up hiring the right people, purely because they have an unsophisticated approach to bringing people on board. Before offering a prospective employee a position within your organisation, make sure you fully understand who they are as a person. Check up on their references, hire a private detective to determine any unsavory aspects of their character, and trust your instincts. Doing so will ensure you hire the right people and reduce the chances of a PR problem.
When You Let Someone Go
It’s not always your current employees that you need to be concerned with: it’s the ones who used to work for you, and who know harbor a grudge, whether imaginary or not. The internet is a lot of things, including a forum for past employees to air grievances and embarrassing details about their former employers. You can reduce the chances of this happening by ensuring you handle any termination professional, with documents outlining what is happening, and ideally have a witness when it happens. If they still say something, avoid getting involved: fighting back will only put a brighter spotlight on the situation.
Invest in Human Resources
You can’t be all things at all times. If you have a large staff, it’s important that you invest in human resources. They will be much better at preventing employee problems than you will be, which will help stop any internal employee difficulties.
Above all, remember that an open dialogue and strong communication between yourself and your staff is the best way to keep PR problems at bay. If everyone knows what’s expected of them at all times, it’s unlikely that things can go wrong.