[Editor’s note: This article was submitted to us by reader and small business owner Sarah Smith. If you would like to submit an article for our blog we’d love to see it, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Employee engagement and a strong reputation are linked in several ways. Employees who are not engaged can damage a business’s reputation. An engaged employee is someone who is committed and dedicated to their company’s success, as well as their own work. Engaged employees are likely to put forth extra effort because they feel valued.
Research has also found that the companies with the most highly engaged employees have the highest reputations. One employee engagement study, conducted by Aon Hewitt, found that among 2013’s Best Employers in the Greater Toronto Area average employee engagement was 77 percent. Additionally, there was a significant drop in engagement, falling below 67%, for businesses not on the list.
Low employee engagement has been linked to poorer quality and service, higher employee turnover, safety incidents, low company morale and a decline in reputation. All of these take a toll on a company’s profit, as well as their public image. The objectives of employee engagement are to minimize the negative effects that can snowball and cause the reputation to suffer.
Employees who are not engaged have no motivation to uphold the company’s standard of service. The public doesn’t take long to notice a decline of service. The Institute for Employment Studies (IES) concluded that there is positive relationship between engaged employees and customer engagement in. Customers who experience interactions with engaged employees have shown more customer loyalty and have given more recommendations that are positive.
If employees are not engaged, they will inevitably leave for another job. High turnover will cost the company with having to hire replacements and in training new hires. Both customers, who keep seeing new faces and trainees, and prospective employees, who hear about the revolving door of workers, will view the business as having problems.
Low Employee Morale
Dissatisfied customers, high turnover and a declining atmosphere within the business will spread employee dissatisfaction. When a crisis hits, disengaged employees will not feel much loyalty and leave. Not only will it affect the workers within the organization, but also it will tarnish the public’s opinion of the business.
There is a correlation between engagement and safety. Gallup researchers, studying employee engagement statistics, found that companies ranking in the top 25 percent for employee engagement had much less safety incidents that those companies ranking in the bottom 25 percent.
One employee engagement survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) concluded that engaged employees were five times less likely to have a safety incident and seven times less likely to have a safety incident causing time off. They also found that safety costs could be lowered by increasing employee engagement. Workplace injury compensation and contact with workplace accident lawyers would be affected by engagement, as well.
An injury and illness prevention program is one way to help identify hazards and reduce injuries, illnesses or even fatalities. According to OSHA, organizations with one of these types of prevention programs report an improved culture that can lead to higher productivity, reduced turnover, reduced costs and more employee satisfaction.
Employee engagement is essential to driving an organization’s reputation. Workers must feel satisfied with their work; take pride in the organization and work to contribute to the company’s success. According to the IES, engaged employees are likely to perform 20% better than their colleges and act as advocates of the organization. This employee support is especially important during a time of crisis.
Dissatisfied employees are likely to express their unhappiness with their friends, post negativity on social media or complain in other public ways expectually when it comes to work related stress. Before an owner or manager needs to engage in image repair tactics, it is best to look at strengthening employee engagement. Engaged employees can be an important ally in defending the company’s reputation.
Sometimes it doesn’t take much to damage a brand or business reputation. Businesses face a daily feat of protecting their reputation. The damaged public image resulting from a crisis can be a disaster for a business, making reputation communications vital. Utilizing Situational Crisis Communication Theory can help manage the crisis. Situational Crisis Communication Theory gives methods for business managers and owners to evaluate a crisis and determine an appropriate strategy when one occurs.
Sarah is a small business owner, and is currently learning about marketing using the internet. Aside from working on her own business, she likes to use social media, and read travel books.