Corporate reputations can be troublesome. Renowned American investor Warren Buffett once said, "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it."
As a professional, how you present yourself to the public can affect both the business you work for and yourself. Avoid these reputation-killers to protect your reputation and the reputation of your employer:
The foundation of a company's reputation is trust, which powers business. Lying about work-related information, incidents, and blunders not only damages your relationship with your employer but also, depending on how big the deception is, your company's reputation with the general public.
Ironically, lying is frequently a defensive tactic with the hope that hiding errors will protect a company's reputation. This notion is incorrect, though, as it only takes one minor slip-up for the entire facade to come tumbling down. Lies also get harder to hide with time.
Exposed lies can destroy an organisation's carefully cultivated corporate reputation in a matter of seconds. According to a Bloomberg article, even after the person was fired, organisations with dishonest CEOs required at least five years to repair their tarnished corporate brand. In a professional setting, lying also involves withholding information and failing to exercise due diligence.
2. Chronic lateness
Failure to honour time commitments can reflect poorly on you and your organisation, whether arriving late to a business meeting or missing project deadlines. Being on time demonstrates respect for your coworkers' and clients' time.
Time management is essential and can help create a favourable corporate reputation.
You may stay ahead of your deadlines by using effective time management strategies, such as prioritising your tasks and delegating when necessary. Use technology tools such as emails and cellphone reminders to help you meet deadlines for projects and meetings.
3. Spreading rumours about clients
There are occasionally very demanding clients. Spreading office rumours about clients can harm your company's reputation, despite how alluring it may be to talk about them.
By its very nature, gossip throws doubt on your reliability and professionalism. As a representative of your organisation, it erodes stakeholder confidence in your company, according to the Society of Human Resources.
For instance, if you're actively courting potential clients, letting rumours or private information about other clients seep into the conversation may make them quickly reconsider doing business with your organisation.
Always lean on the side of neutrality and professionalism when discussing other clients in work-related talks—this aids in shifting stakeholder discussions back to the benefits that your business can provide.
4. Unintentional leaking of company data
Today's employees have easier access to corporate resources on their own devices thanks to the increased use of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in the office.
However, this ease of access to data raises the potential of accidental leaking, which can harm the company's reputation and even impair the bottom line.
Although you might not have intended to get into your company's database, utilising unsecured company equipment, enabling unauthorised access to storage drives, or improperly discarding printed secret information can lead to compromised cyber-security.
You can prevent unintentional data leaking by advocating for the adoption of sound cyber-security policies within your organisation and informing yourself of potential security risks.
5. Careless use of social media
Social media can occasionally be a challenging communication tool. It can be helpful to interact directly with customers, but it can also damage your company's reputation if you post offensive comments, even on your personal profile page.
Information spreads fast in the hyper-connected world of today. What could seem to be an innocent comment could bite you a couple of minutes later. Your company's online corporate reputation could be harmed by your social media post, which could ultimately cost you your job.
You are a professional. You represent your organisation in various ways, including through the work you produce, your behaviour, and your work ethic (both online and offline).
For a company to grow sustainably, maintaining a strong brand image is crucial. You can safeguard your company's reputation by keeping an eye out for the reputation killers mentioned above.