How Unhappy Employees Can Affect Your Corporate Image
Escrito por: Diligent Team
Unappy employees, unhappy investors
A strong corporate image it´s not only based on good sales and great advertising. Employees play a big role in it, through their actions, behavior, and expressions. An unmotivated employee can be as damaging as a bad article about your business in the newspaper. Keep reading and discover how unhappy employees can affect your corporate image.
Employees and contingent workers are the ones getting the business values outside companies, it´s them who create that image corporations want to give. They are the main actors in building a strong reputation and in getting customers to buy products. Think about it: If Apple had a bad customer service and their Genius Bar was full of impatient representatives, will the company have the image and customer loyalty it has today? I hardly doubt it.
On a recent study done by a computer company, customers were asked why they changed from one particular brand to another. The 68% of the customers answered that they did not change brands because of technical aspects, but because of the personal behavior of the customer service representative (Erlhoff, Mager and Manzini, 1997).
Create team spirit and avoid divisions
For having a strong corporate image employees need to feel that they are useful and important, that their jobs have a meaning. This will make them feel connected and motivated.
But what about the contingent workers? Multinational companies frequently hire them to do a certain duty, and that´s it. They forget they are also a temporary part of the company and are also important in achieving business goals, and carrying outside the corporate values.
Along my experience in different companies I keep seeing the same thing: they only focus on employees and keep forgetting about their contingents.
Here are some very disappointing -but true- examples of how to unmotivated a contingent worker:
- Organize a Christmas dinner and make Maria (the team assistant and contingent) coordinate it all, and afterwards not invite her because it´s out of policy to invite a contingent worker to company events.
- Tell Lucy that she can´t participate in the photo contest the company is organizing because she is a contingent worker and it´s only for employees.
- Peter, the marketing specialist that works more than any employee, please don't take him into account for an employee job that perfectly matches his profile, and make sure to tell him that you don't hire him because he is a contingent and many offers are only for internal people only.
- Marcelo, ask him to change his email signature because he can't have the same one as an employee. It´s important that others know he is not part of the company.
Situations like the ones from above are perfect examples of how unhappy employees can affect your corporate image, simply because it generates a very toxic working environment where there is no team spirit or sense of belonging. In the long run it doesn't only affect contingents, it affects all: stakeholders, partners, investors, and employees.
The external is a reflection of the internal: How unhappy employees can affect your corporate image
All corporate values and internal atmosphere reverberate outside organizations. Happy employees make happy investors, and unhappy employees make unhappy investors too. According to an Ernst & Young Center for Business Innovation study of 275 portfolio managers investors consider that among the non-financial criteria for investing in a company, the number five reason (in a ranking of 39) is:
A company's ability to attract and retain employees. The study revealed that a surprising 35 percent of investment decisions were guided by non-financial considerations like a company's reputation for content employees.
Based on that, what happens in a company of 4,000 employees or more, where around 1,500 are unhappy workers? A bad reputation starts, and it´s like an avalanche. Employees often share their working experiences with family and friends, and through social networks. The word gets spread out, customers will receive a bad service, the production will decrease, the complaints will reach the press, the investors will find out, the stock's price will decrease. Boom!
So what does that tell us? That the most valuable asset in any company is its employees, and the best way to achieve any business goal is to make them part of it, let them know it and try to make them happy. It is essential that the company's strategy and direction is clearly communicated to employees and contingents equally, they are fighting for the same cause. You cannot win if your employees do not know where the company is going. Give your employees the respect they deserve, that´s all you need to have a successful business.
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