Rarely a day goes by without the mention of corporate reputation in the tabloids. But still there is a struggle to encourage CEOs to invest in Employer Branding. Jason Frank discusses whether we should be labelling it Employee Reputation instead.
Today if there's one word that causes the boardroom ears to prick up it's reputation. They know the price and value of reputation - they've seen what happens when it suffers - the high profile horror stories of late from Goldman Sachs to Barclays roll off the tongue too easily. Boardroom heads roll when reputations get damaged.
If sex, fear and money are the three pillars of consumer advertising then in the corporate world it's the risk, image and value of the organisation itself.
Talk of reputation is a more astute tactic when it comes to unlocking the budgets you need to get things done. It implies a certain level of risk, as well as opportunity.
Phrases such as 'reputational risk' are commonplace in boardroom rhetoric. And in a world where aversion to risk seems to drive more and more organisational decisions you shouldn't be shy of be using this powerful word to your advantage.
Perhaps we need to talk more about the risks of NOT doing things to build Employer Reputation, inside and outside of our organisations rather than call it a brand issue.
Conversations about you as an employer are always-on, 24/7, with new risks and opportunities to build or damage your Employer Reputation all around you. You don't control reputation, you just have one - like it or not - and you can only try to shape and manage it through the things you say and do.
All this could be said of brands of course but the point is that the big guns at the top don't often see the 'B' word in that way. Brand can often evoke thoughts amongst leadership of a slightly more shiny, colorful, ephemeral and 'promotional' approach, rather than something more meaty and performance driven.
Call me devious but when you're next in the boardroom pitching for budget substituting 'employer brand' with 'reputation' may work wonders.
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