What kind of impression does your company make on outsiders? In other words, when someone hears the name of your company, or something about the place where you work, do they have a positive impression about it? Or is it something that people try to avoid?
Your company’s reputation online can make or break your chance to attract and retain top talent, to put it simply. It can help bring in new clients or it can drive away the ones you have.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when considering your company’s online reputation — and why the answers really matter to your long-term success.
Are my employees happy?
This is a big one: Happy employees will tell their friends why they like working where they are. They’re less likely to want to change jobs, or at least not as frequently. Happy employees feel like the work they’re doing has a purpose and that it’s meaningful. Unhappy employees write scathing reviews online and share them on social media. Unhappy employees tell their friends not to apply to open positions within your company (maybe because they’re looking to leave themselves). Creating an environment in which your team is happy to be there means other people will want to be there too.
Is my team supported?
The last few years have been rough, with people changing jobs, supply chain issues and everyone trying to do more with less. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right candidate to fill a position. All of that is understandable, to an extent. But if your policy of late has been that there’s no money to hire additional people, or that open positions won’t be filled, consider the strain you’re putting on the team that’s been willing to stick to it for now. Overworked employees will only tolerate being stretched thin for so long before they consider their options. Another question: Does your team have all the support they need in terms of technology, access to software and other tools to do their jobs? Do they have the ability to come to you with questions or concerns and to talk things through? Do they have access to the guidance and assistance they need? People who feel taken for granted, like they’re expected to do more with less forever, will start to look for an out.
How does my website look?
Depending on your line of work and your industry, you might think a website is unnecessary and that social media is a waste of time. That’s fine; that’s a choice; just know your competition has a nice, freshly designed website with a portal for customers and a fun, up-to-date social media presence that makes them look really enticing to younger workers. It’s worth making sure your online presence is welcoming, engaging, informative and useful. As the workforce continues to trend younger, you need to appeal to younger workers who have been online their whole lives, how you look online matters and could be the difference between getting dozens of applicants to an open position and getting one or two.
How does my company’s culture make employees feel?
When was the last time you had an employee appreciation day? Or thanked your team for their hard work? Do you know everyone’s names? If you were to pop by to say hello to an employee or team, would they be pleasantly surprised or immediately nervous that they were about to get bad news? If you’re not sure about any of these questions, it might be time to put a real effort into improving your company’s culture. A welcoming workplace is one in which people are appreciated for their contributions, respected for their skills and abilities, diversity is celebrated and recognized as a strength. If you’re not sure whether your company is doing enough to make people feel like they matter and that you’re glad they’re there, it might be time to make a change.
Is our reputation costing us more?
If your reputation online isn’t great, you might end up paying more in addition to losing out. Potential new hires often ask for a higher starting rate of pay and get it when they’re in negotiations with companies with a bad or sketchy reputation online, in part because the employer received fewer applications and needs to hire someone. Additionally, if your company doesn’t sound like one a client wants to work with, they’ll go to your competition and you’ll lose out on their business. All of that adds up to big losses, overall, that could’ve been profits in your coffers.
The bottom line is that your reputation online is a valuable and important thing. A good one will make you a leader in your community and your industry; a bad one stacks the decks against you and your continued success. It’s harder to improve a bad reputation than it is to nourish a good one, but you need to know what you’re dealing with. Start with an internal, anonymous employee survey in addition to an online audit and see how much work is needed.
Looking to hire great new staff? Sterling Personnel is ready to help!
Not sure where to go next? Sterling Personnel can help. Our experts can help you navigate the troubled waters to find smoother seas and, in the meantime, if you need to bring on new employees, we can help provide resumes of people ready to get to work right away. When you’re ready to get started, Sterling Personnel is standing by to help.