You had a reputation among your employees before this pandemic. It was either positive or not so positive. In either case, you now have an excellent opportunity to come out of this worldwide crisis with an improved professional image. This may sound self-serving, but how you are perceived within your organization will have a major effect on the success of your business. So how do you as a leader take advantage of this unique situation to make sure your professional and personal reputation stays intact or improves? Here are two recommendations:
Being mindful of how you treat your employees when laying off, during the furloughs, and when reinstating employees is a major influencer in improving your reputation. When making decisions in all of these situations, you have business decisions to make that will salvage the existence of your business. While those decisions are critical, you should not forget what affect they will have on your employees – and ultimately your reputation. Put yourself in the place of your employees and think about how you will perceive you.
Communicate Your Rationale
How you communicate your decisions that affect employees will determine your reputation post-pandemic. The most common mistake in these situations is NOT spending the time to word your internal messages in a way that demonstrates your care for your employees. Many small business owners, I’ve been one for 36 years, have never been trained on employee communications. Having prepared employee communications for many client companies during layoffs and other negative events, this is one of the hardest communications that you will have to prepare. If you don’t have experience in employee communications, ask for help. The worst mistake is not considering the long term effect of how you word these critical verbal and written messages.
Think About It
You may not have thought about how important your communications are in determining your reputation. If not, the best advice I can give you on this critical subject is to start thinking.
Author: Emory Mulling
Emory Mulling is a nationally recognized HR Consultant and Executive Coaching expert. As Founder and Chairman for the Mulling Corporation, the Mulling family of businesses is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The firm was founded in 1986 and is a leader in HR consulting for small, medium and large companies.