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Dealing with Reputational Risks in the Workplace: What to Do

Regardless of its structure and size, every organization has a reputation risk. Company leaders, particularly in large corporations, know the importance of maintaining a good business reputation among employees, stakeholders, and customers. It allows them to acquire more customers, increasing their bottom-line and competitive edge.

A reputation crisis is inevitable if the company fails to implement proactive strategies in securing the health and safety of its employees. For example, in the event of a commercial truck crash, the company should consider consulting a truck accident attorney to minimize the cost of the damages and protect their public reputation.

Recovering from a legal nightmare can be challenging if you’re managing a company with a strong reputation to secure. That’s why protecting your business from potential backlash is essential. With that in mind, here are ways to manage reputation risks in the workplace.

Understand how actions affect expectations

Company leaders should recognize the value of reputation risk management, while managers should set an example to communicate positive messages among key stakeholders. Setting company policies, procedures, and training ensures everyone knows how to respond and act appropriately in any situation that compromises the health and safety of staff. When a business’s reputation is at risk, employees will act responsibly and quickly while doing everything in their power to influence public perception in the most favorable way.

It’s easy to meet the expectations of clients and stakeholders when you are aware of them. But sometimes, we get too ambitious by setting the standards too high by making promising statements we fail to work on. If left unchecked, this will later backfire to the company and will spread like wildfire. People will think the organization doesn’t live to its word. That’s why it’s essential to learn what employees, clients, and shareholders expect from the management and work hard to meet the conditions.

In every situation, consistency is key when distributing positive communications. In time, it will help establish the public reputation, which reduces the extent of damage of future incidents. This is possible by regularly informing staff and clients about company happenings and the preventative measures of workplace accidents.

Transparency, steady growth, good governance, and customer service are critical topics to convey. Since you can’t always satisfy everyone, focus instead on meeting the expectations of the stakeholders first.

man wearing a hard hat

Establish a culture of safety

You may have heard this several times, but prevention is a million times better than cure. This statement couldn’t be truer in terms of health and safety management in the workplace. Believe it or not, how you handle your staffs’ health and safety significantly affects your business’s reputation. That’s why it should be at the very core of your reputation risk management efforts.

Workplace health and safety management is a continuous process and requires participation across the organization from the management to employees. Incorporating safety culture into the workplace involves a set of strategies to extend its impact on the company’s reputation.

The first step to creating a safety culture is establishing a strong health and safety policy that outlines plans and responsibilities. Put this into writing and make sure everyone is aware of the content. You can also discuss it during employee onboarding and the employee handbook to ensure it is adequately communicated.

Once you have communicated your intentions and strategies of building a workplace safety culture, encourage employees to do their part and promote a sense of accountability. This way, you ensure everyone is doing their part in observing safety practices and reporting workplace incidents.

It is also important to emphasize the importance of submitting reports involving incidents, faulty equipment, misbehavior, or even near-misses. This will help the inspector and safety team to monitor inconsistencies in daily operations and areas that are prone to incidents.

An effective investigation is the best way to study the cause of incidents and prevent major damages in the future. More importantly, ensure everyone is up-to-date about policy changes and risks that may potentially emerge. Make sure to communicate this company-wide through board messages and team meetings.

 

While reputation risk management is seriously neglected in most organizations, the damages that reputation brings can be extensive and sometimes irreversible. Without a strong reputation management strategy, it will take longer for a company to redeem itself from what was supposed to be a minor accident.  

In a major incident in the workplace, the company should be prepared enough to address the situation properly and quickly. Time is of the essence when responding to reputation risks; every minute wasted reduces the respect of the public towards the management and the organization as a whole.

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