Reputation management and your brand

With today’s online world, reputation management is an essential part of developing and maintaining a strong brand and competitive edge.

Among the many things that Massachusetts entrepreneurs and executives must focus on is the integrity of their brand reputations. Most businesses operate in a competitive environment in which other companies sell some version of the same thing that they do. This means that the power of a brand can be an essential competitive advantage that may be the biggest true differentiator in a buying decision.

Protecting that brand is therefore clearly important and one way of doing that is by guarding against harassment or discrimination claims by current or former employees.

What types of discrimination are identified by the law?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recognizes many factors as protected. For example, any discrimination against a person based upon religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, race, color, country of origin and disability is strictly prohibited by law .

How can a discrimination claim hurt a brand?

Today's world is a very public one thanks to the internet. As Potent Communications, a business services firm, explains, claims of harassment or discrimination can become public very easily. When they do, they can hurt recruitment efforts, sales and even the potential of attracting needed investors.

Internally, other staff members may be discouraged and feel reduced respect for leadership. Some good people may be lost and the productivity of those that stay may drop as their morale drops.

How can companies address online brand issues?

Forbes explains that online reputation management should be a priority for businesses not just in the face of discrimination claims but at all times. Anyone can make disparaging remarks about a company and whether true or not, it can harm a brand.

Companies should make the effort to take control of their online reputations and address complaints as they happen. Being aware of what is said about a company in the online world is important for organization leaders.

Can employee training help?

As explained by BLR, employee training can be an integral way of helping to guard against discrimination and to work through moral problems if claims do arise. In some cases, such training is legally mandated such as with sexual harassment.

Training can align all employees on the company's position and procedures. It can also highlight the importance to the organization of proper behavior by all employees and send the message clearly that inappropriate actions will not be tolerated.

How can companies learn more about discrimination and brands?

Talking with an experienced business attorney should be a priority for any organization in Massachusetts that is concerned about proper employee training as a way of minimizing brand damage and discrimination claims.