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Steps to Repair a Damaged Organizational Reputation

Ask The Expert

By Barbara Mitchell

Q: My organization's reputation has been damaged. We're starting to get back on track, but our recruitment is still hurting. Any ideas on how to mitigate this issue and get the right people to accept our offers?

A: Sorry to hear you're going through this. Rebuilding your organization's damaged reputation is challenging but can be done with a concentrated effort from everyone.

Start by checking websites like Glassdoor to see the negative reviews you may be getting. Check out your reputation on Google and maybe even set up a Google Alert so you're notified when your organization is mentioned in new online content. Then, once you're armed with facts on what's being said about you, you can take action.

Focus on your future, letting the world know where you're headed and what you learned from your mistakes. Be sure all staff members are on the same page so that your messaging is consistent.

Consider asking your current employees, either in focus groups or through a survey, what they like about working for your organization. Ask them why they stay and then use that information to update your employment brand.

Storytelling is a powerful way to get the word out, so don't overlook any opportunity to collect stories from your senior staff and others to use in your messaging.

Rebuilding your brand will involve updating your careers page on your website. You may want to include videos from current employees talking about why they love working for your organization. For example, you could record a video series of employees answering questions on what they value about their work and about the organizational culture.

Encourage your employees to post positive messages about the organization on social media. If you have a company Facebook page, use it to post stories of activities and opportunities that may catch the attention of prospective employees. Use Instagram to share pictures of people at work. Post articles on LinkedIn to tell people about your values and your commitment to your employees. Do some quick YouTube videos when you have an all-hands meeting or employee event.

Involve everyone in the organization in this rebuilding effort. You especially need your top executives to tell their stories of where the organization has been and where you're going. Storytelling is a powerful way to get the word out, so don't overlook any opportunity to collect positive stories from your senior staff and others to use in your messaging.

Be patient when rebuilding your brand—it takes a long time to make the lasting changes necessary to regain your reputation.

Barbara Mitchell is a human resources and management consultant and author of The Big Book of HR and The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook. Do you have a question you'd like her to answer in "Ask the Expert"? Send it to [email protected]

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