Can Your Org Afford To Be A Reddit Headline?

In the world of online virality and vitriol, the adage, “Any press is good press,” has officially been taken out to pasture. In the last decade, entire industries have been born around protecting and managing an organization’s reputation on the social media landscape. The damage control capabilities companies once had has given way to the decentralized power and immediacy of the internet, and if your organization isn’t careful you could be the next headline-du-jour that puts your leadership in a panic.

We aren’t qualified to discuss whether or not stories of employer malpractice reaching the front page of Reddit or [insert your favorite social media platform here…we won’t judge] have long-lasting effects on holding organizations accountable for their actions. We do know a thing or two about the impact of the employee experience and how it’s more important than ever to have a healthy one to avoid being a headline for the wrong reasons.

Why do organizations get bad press on social media?

There are many missteps an employer can make to wind up on the wrong side of a Reddit s-storm. From data leaks to stories of bad labor practices (baseless or otherwise) to scandals, your People Operations team can’t be responsible for preventing every possible scenario that might find your organization under fire, but there’s a high probability that you’ll have some involvement in the aftermath.

While there are countless reasons why your organization could make the news for all the wrong reasons, you can play a major part in mitigating some of the risks, and it starts with how your organization prioritizes and treats your employees. 

What role does People Ops play in reputation management?

Narrator: A big one

While you can’t always predict human behavior, you can help by putting the odds in your favor. If you want to minimize the chances of your organization’s name being the star of negative headlines your employees must feel positively toward it. People Operations plays a critical role in crisis management, sure, but you also play a pivotal role in crisis mitigation. 

People Ops is the hand that turns the positive workplace culture screw. Through finding the right people to hire, onboarding them successfully, and implementing programs that emphasize the importance of the employee experience, People Ops is the genesis of your org’s positive reviews, employee satisfaction and internal word-of-mouth recommendations. All of these ultimately can enhance your organization’s reputation and keep you out of the headlines.

The cost of getting reputation management wrong

A data leak that turns into a headline flood could run your organization upwards of $200,000 in damages. That’s no laughing matter. When stories leak about employees being treated unfairly, however, the backlash can be so great that it’s unfathomable to quantify, and in some cases, companies might not be able to bounce back.

From unengaged staff to CEO’s overstepping or giving tone-deaf pep talks, the one common theme among these is an overt neglect for valuing employees as humans. Some organizations are big enough to withstand the fallout and may see a dip in stock prices or a one-time hit to their profit before people move on, but your organization may not be so lucky.

Good culture begets good PR

The number of times an organization doesn’t make headlines for the unsatisfactory treatment of their employees is dizzying. In fact, two such missteps experienced by our own CEO are extremely common, and though by her choice avoided the courtroom, they ultimately led to the inception of Tilt. We say this to underscore that your organization can have a faux pas that doesn’t make the headlines and can still cost a small fortune.

It’s improbable to pitch a perfect game every time you take the mound, as such, it’s unreasonable to expect your organization to never make a fault or blunder when it comes to the way employees are treated. Whether it’s ensuring people are empathetically supported when they need to take a leave of absence or aren’t being discriminated against for who they are, the connection People Ops has with fostering a positive employee experience and helping to keep their organizations in the black and off of Reddit is undeniable.

About Tilt

Tilt is leading the charge in all things leave of absence management through easy-to-use tech and human touch. Since 2017, our proprietary platform and Empathy Warriors have been helping customers make leave not suck by eliminating administrative burdens, keeping companies compliant, and providing a truly positive and supportive leave of absence experience for their people.

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