Reputation plays a big role in an employee’s relationship with work. A great reputation is a key factor in attracting talent and it also feeds pride and passion. Yet on a daily basis it also relies on employee performance and behaviour.  

At thefuturestory’s recent event I took part in the discussion about reputation, and agreed that it was something that evoked quite an emotional reaction with employees and potential employees. Once ingrained in people’s minds, reputation is quite hard to turn around, so it’s an important one for companies to get right for their employees from the very beginning.

Our table considered that it must be hard sometimes for charities to maintain a good reputation inside their organisations, because though people join to support a cause, and are passionate about a charity’s purpose, there are some times inevitably when day to day issues detract from that cause. It is also difficult when your organisation is criticised in the media and you aren’t always able to respond. We then moved on to talk about the relationship between Reputation and Purpose and how good businesses should work with, not against, people’s personal passions – allowing them to grow and contribute to the business.

Not only do organisations need to invest time and thought in people joining their work force, as well as those that are already working for them, they need to think about the leavers too. Ideally, a person leaving a business is a brand advocate, they’ve enjoyed their experience and would recommend the organisation to their peers.

We then moved on to discuss companies with very disparate employees geographically, and how communicating on reputational issues must be a challenge for them. We asked the question – how do you keep everyone involved and engaged in a company with a remote workforce and multiple sites? We decided the answer was with a strong mix of communications channels to encourage dialogue, frequently reminding employees of the company’s purpose and direction, and inspiring them with great leaders.

In conclusion, we decided that reputation is all about ‘doing things well’ for a business. Building a good brand reputation takes consistency and clarity in communicating an organisation’s purpose, and letting employees know what contribution they can make personally.

We finished debating whether a company’s reputation can be driven or is something that grows organically... but that’s for another day! With a very enthusiastic table, and a mixed bunch of people from different sectors, we could have spoken for another hour at least!

If you have enjoyed this blog post summarising the Reputation table discussion at thefuturestory event, you will also like the following blogs written for the other elements of PRIDE. Check them out: Purpose, IntegrityDirection and Energy.