5 Reasons Why the Workplace is Now Your Biggest Reputation Threat
This year has thrown many difficult and dangerous issues our way, it has been head spinning.
Many of the new risks, and the heightened old ones, have coalesced inside the organization. They impact the place and the way we work, and work life factors such as safety, equality and diversity, culture and engagement.
On October 26th, the In Case of Crisis 365 team had the opportunity to share our insights on how the workplace has become the focus in the new world of risk with guests at ICON2020, the international conference of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
Here are 5 of the top reasons why the workplace is now your biggest reputation threat.
- The COVID workplace.
While the biggest threat is obviously the health and safety of employees and visitors, there is more than that. It challenges business continuity and supply chains, as key vendors and partners are affected. There are also ramifications in terms of employee policies and benefits. Many employers have chosen, understandably, to keep their workforce remote and have not yet asked people to return to the office. There is a long list of changes that need to happen before that return to the office takes place.
- New cybersecurity risks
With so many employees working from home and accessing networks from their own computers, the ever-present risk of a cybersecurity breach is considerably heightened. We all had a sharp reminder of the threat in July when hackers, in search of bitcoins, accessed the Twitter accounts of several notable users including Barack Obama. While many of the prevention steps belong to IT departments which have been strengthening security policies, installing firewalls and restricting access to the network, the Twitter breach was due to social engineering when the hackers posed as Twitter employees to real employees. This highlighted the importance of making all employees aware of the variety of risks and sharing tips and best practices.
- Racial equity in the workplace
This is an issue as difficult and challenging as COVID itself. The search for meaningful solutions will outlast the pandemic. The death of George Floyd and the influence of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement have increased scrutiny and demanded more accountability from employers. As just one example, McDonalds is facing a lawsuit from black franchise holders who accuse the chain of selling them sub-par restaurants and poor support. As a leader there is a lot you can do to set a tone and culture in your workplace and encourage the reporting of incidents of discrimination. This Blog has also examined more innovative ways to achieve change.
- Shifts in culture and engagement
With so many people working remotely, there has been a recordable dip in employee engagement. Or maybe not. Maybe it has increased engagement. We noted a July study which revealed an exact 50/50 split in those two categories! Either way it gets more difficult to promote culture and shared values without the in-person contact and the informal networks which characterize the ‘normal’ workplace. While digital communications are proving a productivity boon, they cannot be relied on solely to build employee engagement.
- It is all happening at the same time!
A serious point with a smile, this is how we made the observation to the PRSA delegates.
All these challenging and complex issues are unfolding in an incredibly difficult year in which most organizations now find that they were under prepared and lacked purpose-build resources to manage. While yes, we are biased, our recent launch of In Case of Crisis 365 could not have been more timely. It was not planned to appear during a pandemic – we have been working on it for some time. This new solution for effective issues and crisis management has all the tools and resources that any organization needs to be better prepared and respond faster. Find out more and request a demo here.
Learn how hundreds of organizations large and small are using our award-winning crisis management platform, In Case of Crisis, to better prepare for and respond faster to emerging threats.