In the world of the basic intangibles of any company, we cannot forget corporate reputation. Sometimes it is difficult to define it, thinking that it is something abstract, invisible, something that we cannot measure or that, being so relative, we should not even devote energy to it. To approach it in this way is a mistake and the first step towards the future disappearance of a company for not taking seriously both the visible and the invisible parts.
When we speak of corporate reputation we refer to its social prestige, the level of power, quality, and value that it is possible to assign to it and that, of course, can vary according to different circumstances, both for better and for worse.
Let’s say, instead of referring to companies, we examine the reputation we have as individuals or as professionals. In this case, we are referring to the idea that others have of us. Although we may find it hard to believe, we tend to take it for granted that we control the image we offer to others and, therefore, we control the image that others perceive of us and, in turn, transmit to others. This is true to some extent, but make no mistake: things are not that simple and we often have much less control and much less awareness of that image than we would like… or think we do.
In reality, our ability to control the image that others construct of us is relative. Between the image we think we offer them and the image we actually offer them, there is a gap. Between the one, we truly offer them and the one they perceive there is another gap. Between the one they perceive and the one they give back to us (to us, or to others) there is another gap. In other words, information flows, yes, but with some interruptions or interferences that we must take into account in order to neutralize them as far as possible.
Something similar happens with corporate reputation, that is, with the image of a company held by its internal and external, current and potential customers. So do its direct and indirect stakeholders, competitors, the general public, and, in short, the world. Should we control this reputation, take care of it and even manipulate it at our convenience in order to grow as an organization and position ourselves above the competition? Of course, can we do it perfectly? Absolutely not.
Every company will go through a “reputation crisis” or an identity crisis at some point. A controversial news story, a slip-up on social media, an ill-timed marketing campaign, a scandal involving a member of the board of directors… Clearly, there are companies that enjoy an excellent corporate reputation, but the dangers to their image and prestige are there, lurking for when they let their guard down. And the damage can be unexpected, swift, and brutal.
3 steps to take care of corporate reputation
Corporate reputation is, very simply defined, the confidence a certain company instills based on the image it gives off or, as we have seen, based on the image it gives off to a certain observer. To manage it correctly, it is essential to maintain coherence between the brand, results, image, working environment, and corporate culture, among other aspects, knowing that there are many others that are beyond our control and that can have an impact on corporate reputation when we least expect it.
In any case, every company should take into account at least three strategic lines of action to protect its corporate reputation from the threats that can undermine it, to the best of its ability.
1. Take care of the company from the inside
It’s about pampering the employee experience, fostering a favorable work environment, taking seriously the coherence between corporate culture and the daily lives of employees. There is no better start to achieving a positive corporate reputation from the outside than having a good corporate reputation from the inside. This will favor the attraction of talent through smooth inbound recruiting processes and, of course, its future development and retention within the company.
2. Take risks with common sense
It is not always necessary to be conservative, but neither should we shoot ourselves in the foot just to attract attention. Be careful with risky decisions, especially those related to the marketing, communication, and advertising department. Think them over and over again, consult them and cross-check them, make sure that you don’t leave any loose ends. In the age of social media, a poorly thought-out ad is enough to cause a reputation crisis that will take time to recover.
3. Build a good product or service
Sometimes we forget the most important thing: the mission, the task, the raison d’être of the company. We have just said that a good start for the public corporate reputation is that the internal reputation is good (that the employees like the company). Well, the better the product you make, the service you provide, and, essentially, the better the customer service, the more likely you are to build a solid corporate reputation with a broad public.
Take care of your corporate reputation with ifeel
Ifeel has developed an emotional well-being program for companies, designed by its team of leading psychologists with the aim of helping companies take care of their corporate reputation as a key tool for improving productivity in a sustainable way, focusing on the mental health and commitment of their main assets: their employees.
Thanks to this collaboration, HR managers can receive personalized, data-driven advice on which are the main risk factors for the company’s image and prestige and which aspects should be supported to achieve a good corporate reputation.
In addition, ifeel’s emotional well-being program for companies offers employees a mental health care service structured at different levels according to their needs at any given time. This way, they can access various mental health care tools with ifeel’s app. On a second level, they can receive emotional support through a chat with one of our platform’s licensed psychologists. If continuous help is needed in time, they only have to access the third level of the program: online psychological therapy with a psychologist specialized in cases like theirs.
Contact us today and request more information about our emotional well-being program for companies. You may also be interested in this post about the advantages of using ifeel’s workplace mental health platform.