Critical Corporate Reputation Builder…The Voice of Employees
The following article was written by Janet Robinson, a member of FleishmanHillard’s International Advisory Board. She also is the former CEO of The New York Times Company; Chairwoman of the Presidential Board of Trustees of Salve Regina University and a trustee of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Many words of advice have been written on the subject of reputation and on the critical factors that contribute to the development of a world class corporate reputation. A list of these factors often include mission, core values, product or service quality, adherence to ethical standards, responsiveness, reliability, communications expertise, technical proficiency and corporate citizenship. Clearly, these factors play a critical role in the building and strengthening of reputation. However, one critical factor that is often underestimated or ignored is the voice of the satisfied employee.
A corporation must always consider all constituencies in the strategic development of a corporate reputation but the employee constituency is one that should be near the top of the priority list. Having the employees believe in the mission, values, products and services and strategic direction of the corporation is not only essential to corporate success but also essential to how others shape their opinions of the corporation. When employees are satisfied and eager to discuss the attributes of the corporation they work for, external constituencies and the public at large take note. The endorsement of past and current employees can prove to be the most effective tool in enhancing a corporate reputation.