Corporate reputation is influenced by an almost endless list of factors.
Some of the most cited ones include:
- how companies react during a crisis
- what the media reports
- what the company says about itself online
- how clients respond
- what employees have to say.
If you’ve read a lot about corporate reputation, the first four factors tend to get the most air time.
However, employees continue to be more and more influential in this area, thanks to the ever-evolving digital media landscape.
And no, it isn’t just the mainstream social media channels that are playing a role. It’s the (relatively) new breed of 'review and rate' websites that are gaining more visibility, and as a result their influence is growing.
Let’s break these websites and apps down, and then look at some ways to monitor and use this information.
The top employer insight websites and apps
It has never been easier to get a window into the culture of an organization, especially if you consult one of the following sites as part of your information gathering:
While some subtle differences exist, they all generally provide the following:
- employee reviews and ratings
- average employee tenure and company turnover
- scores (culture, gender, diversity, NPS etc.)
The bulk of this information can be obtained directly from company websites, annual reports and social media profiles. However, there is one big difference: these review sites add third party sources into the mix, potentially providing a more balanced or realistic view.
Now, it is important to point out that employee reviews are subjective and each should be consumed with a (considerable) pinch of salt.
Additionally, scores, staff turnover and salaries are also determined by available data and do not necessarily represent a completely accurate picture.
Practical tips and advice
There’s a lot we could cover when it comes to the use of company review websites in relation to corporate reputation, so let’s narrow things down and focus on two specific areas:
- monitoring for activity, and
- application of insights.
In most cases, social media and website monitoring consists of on and off page listening via the use of a series of tools. Depending on the makeup of a company, listening protocols are unique to each operating environment. In most cases, it isn’t practical or useful to monitor for activity on these sites on a daily basis like you would with your own social media channels.
However, a monthly or quarterly review may help uncover:
- red flags / potential issues
This can be done manually based on a template that addresses the key reputational questions.
When it comes to application of the findings, there are a number of ways this information can be used. Most importantly, it should help inform plans relating to culture and values.
No matter how subjective the information may be, it still provides another data point and may unearth an insight that wasn’t shared in an exit interview or company-wide review. These are to things your internal and external stakeholders may not feel comfortable telling you so it is important to be aware of them. After all, as these are the views that others are reading about you, which impacts your corporate reputation.
If you subscribe to the belief that feedback is a gift, this is one present you should look to unwrap regularly.