Watch What You Say

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No one wants to be a part of a company that doesn’t have pride in their product or services or are embarrassed to say they work for company X because of that company’s reputation in the community. An easy way to maintain or build up that pride is for a supervisor to remind those you work with that how one talks about the company in public is often the source of the company’s reputation.

Information about trouble or misfortune disseminates quickly (more quickly than good news). Positive word-of-mouth about a company’s products and services may be passed along to three people, whereas bad news transmits much further, to at least twice as many individuals.

A study, done in part by the Wharton School of Business found stories about bad products and/or service become magnified with each re-telling, so that people down the line are up to five times as likely to avoid the business in question as the original unhappy customer.

Six degrees of Kevin Bacon? According to a recent article in the Washington Post, two people are connected to 180 BILLION in just seven instant or text messing steps.

As some of you know, employees are the best ambassadors for their company. A prime example of just how seriously some companies take this concept can be found in the contract of any anchor or reporter, not matter how small the market is. All of the contracts include a clause containing termination with cause:

“If employee is intoxicated, or uses, possesses, traffics in, or is under the influence of any drug which is not prescribed by a physician for Employee or available over the counter, while performing employee’s duties or while on station premises,” is just one example of the language used in these contracts.

Additionally, “the commission by employee involvement in public dispute, contempt, scandal, or ridicule which shocks, insults or offends the community, or which casts doubt upon Employee’s journalistic fairness or credibility” is another reason for possible termination.

While I am in no way suggesting that all companies need this kind of contract, I do think it would help everyone to remember that the employees are the face of the company. That means if you have a bad day, complaining about it loudly in public is only going to give those around you a bad impression of your company.

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