Your employees are the force responsible for making your business ideas a reality, so of course, they have a big impact on the success rate of your business. But did you know how you treat your employees can have a major impact on your brand’s reputation?
In fact, your employees can affect your business reputation in a multitude of ways.
Direct Customer Interactions
For starters, your employees will be directly interacting with your customers from the moment they’re onboarded to the time they leave. Your salespeople will be responsible for having initial conversations with leads and prospects. Your account managers and project managers will onboard those new customers and communicate through them throughout the duration of their contract or project. Your customer service reps will be responsible for resolving problems and providing ongoing care.
All these little interactions add up. If your employees are apathetic or callous to your customers, they’re going to get a negative impression of your brand. If a single employee is having a bad day and they take it out on a customer, it could deal a reputational blow that can ruin an entire customer relationship.
Conversely, if all your employees are on their best behaviour with your customers and they consistently provide good communication and good service, your customers are going to rate your business higher – and stick with your company as long as possible.
Promotion and Word of Mouth
You also need to consider your employees’ net promoter score (eNPS), or how likely your employees are to advocate for your business. A higher eNPS indicates your employees feel like they’re a good fit for the brand and that your company is doing good things for its customers (and possibly, the world at large).
When employees are happier with their position and the company, they’ll be more likely to talk favourably about the company and recommend it to other people. They may tell favourable stories in their social circles, post positive comments on social media, and represent the company much better in their personal lives. A single, average employee won’t have the power to move the needle of public perception by much, but if your entire workforce is in alignment, it can massively impact your business’s reputation.
Employee Treatment and Company Reputation
It’s also worth noting that how you treat your employees can have an impact on your company’s reputation as well, regardless of what your customers see directly or what your employees say in their personal lives. Today’s customers care more about sustainability and ethical business practices, and they may choose a competitor’s business over yours if it means supporting a business with better employee management practices.
Providing employees with competitive wages, robust benefits, ample vacation time, and other perks is seen as more ethical and socially responsible.
By contrast, if your employees frequently complain about making minimum wage, being stuck in uncomfortable conditions, or being talked down to by superiors, it’s not going to look good for your company – even if you’re able to offer lower product prices as a result of these management practices.
How to Improve Your Business Reputation Through Your Employees
Fortunately, there are many ways to improve your business’s reputation indirectly, through your employees:
Compensate your employees fairly.
First and foremost, make sure you’re compensating your employees fairly. Pay them a wage that’s competitive for their position and consider providing additional benefits to make the offer even more compelling.
Train your employees well.
It’s also important to train your employees well. The more educated and knowledgeable they are, the more confident they’ll be – and the better equipped they’ll be to handle common customer issues. It’s also important to teach employees just how important their customer interactions are.
Establish the right company culture.
Strong company culture goes a long way to unite employees, boost morale, and establish the values that guide employee behaviour. For example, building a culture that puts customers first (and enforcing that culture) can guide your employees to consistently better customer interactions.
Look for ways to boost morale.
Anything that boosts morale is going to improve employee retention and perceptions of your brand. Even small things, like taking employees to lunch occasionally or hosting team building events, can have a large impact.
Collect employee feedback.
Take the time to collect feedback from employees. How do they feel about this company? Is there anything they think could be improved?
Employees have a bigger effect on your company reputation than many business owners realize. If you recognize this proactively and you work hard to treat your employees better (and train them properly), you’ll be in a much better position to make a better name for your company.