Managing an organization’s reputation may be the most important asset a CEO and his or her team manages – as a good reputation helps a company to attract business, investors, hire and retain the best employees, partner with other leading organizations and lower the cost of capital.
Reputation must be built from the INSIDE OUT, and encompasses everything that the organization says and does. Reputation is an intangible asset at risk on a daily basis.
Recent studies show that it can make up as much as 63% of a company’s market value. According to Steve Hamilton-Clark, CEO of TNS MENA “Reputation capital is the sum of the value of all corporate intangible assets, which include business processes, patents, trademarks, reputations for ethics and integrity, quality, safety, sustainability, security, and resilience”.
He goes on to say that “Indeed, companies must understand and influence the relationships they have with stakeholders – from customers, investors, business partners, influencers, the general public and employees. The ability to attract, maintain and motivate talented employees, as well as customers rests in a good reputation.”
Psychologists tell us that awareness precedes behavior change whilst the term preparedness refers to the state of being prepared for specific unpredictable events or situations. Awareness and Preparedness are therefore closely linked.
The level of preparedness is depended on the cumulative deposit of knowledge or the sum total of the learned behaviour of a group of people. This awareness that the psychologists talk about is created by knowledge and knowledge is acquired through information. (Even this process is fraught with danger – remember the Desert Survival or NASA team building exercises that some of you have done on Leadership training).
Therefore awareness can play a huge role in protecting and nurturing your organisation’s biggest asset and risk. How would a manager know whether he or she is adding or subtracting to that value, unless he or she has been made aware?
The next time your organization meets to decide what the training goals and priorities should be, ask yourself: “What are we doing to ensure that our managers understand the creation and protection of our Reputation”?
A good reputation means your name is trusted. You are considered a sound investment, purchase, trusted partner, and employer. All of this dramatically impacts the organization’s bottom line.
So, here are 7 compelling reasons why you should educate, develop and train your staff in reputation management principles.
1. To ensure that your business is well-positioned especially when reputational surveys such as the World’s Most Admired Company and Annual Best Employer surveys are conducted. Those businesses that obtain better scores, also have better revenues and a more sustainable footprint.
2. To remain competitive. If your employees are knowledgeable and motivated, they will build your reputation in a very competitive marketplace, and stakeholders like to do business with winners.
3. To understand your stakeholders needs and concerns and find ways to wow and engage them. You need to maintain good relationships with them and gather their support and trust.
4. To enable your employees to stand back from the day-to-day operations and understand the strategic implications of their work on the company’s largest and most important asset, and yet, biggest risk.
5. It sends one of the most powerful messages to your employees – that they and the organization’s reputation are valued. When your employees are anxious about maintaining the reputation of the institution, it is more important than ever to demonstrate a commitment to them, by giving them the know-how and understanding to manage that asset and risk.
6. To avoid Reputation Risk. When employees understand the value and risk of reputation as an asset, they will think twice before destroying it.
7. Training increases productivity in the short term, as well as the long term. It enhances reputation.
Think back to your own experiences. What a pleasure to deal with employees that are dedicated , focused and competent. The sooner you engage your staff, the earlier you can address and deal with the issues that may affect your reputation.
Read this post Education & Training Programs Woefully Reputation Deficient for more provocative insight based on research.
Should Reputation Management Training not feature on your company’s Training agenda? Are you leaving the deliberate management of this asset to chance?