How can we get staff to commit to corporate reputation?

Reputación & Riesgo Reputacional

How can we get staff to commit to corporate reputation?

Corporate Excellence and Alcor create a new management model: Staff commitment over corporate reputation

Until now, we have always measured what do employees think of their company’s reputation. However, under the conviction that employees are not just another stakeholder, but the ones who make or break the company’s reputation through the brand experience they provide to customers and citizens, we have gone the extra mile. We wanted to know not just employees’ opinions but how can we activate their commitment to promote reputation. This has been the base upon which we have built our new management model, along with our partners Alcor, a company specialised in HR and internal communication, and a strategic ally for Corporate Excellence in this field.

A new management model: the starting point

Intangible assets generate value for the company but its measuring and impact have room for improvement. At Corporate Excellence we work on this and create tools and models to achieve excellence in management.

Until now, models for the management of corporate reputation have concentrated on measuring and evaluating the reputation that a company has among its stakeholders. However, in this occasion we wished to get to the workers’ reasons and emotions, to motivate them to give their best in their work and thus improve the brand experience and by consequence, corporate reputation.

Employees are the protagonists of the strengths and weaknesses that characterise an organisation, and a very relevant agent in the shaping of their company’s reputation.

Under this framework, we have kickstarted this initiative, which has allowed us to design and implement a model that identifies the buttons companies need to press to generate interest among employees and get them to promote corporate reputation.

What makes an employee speak highly of their company? What makes them defend before a client the processes that their company has in place to service them? What impact has their sense of responsibility in managing properly a customer’s discontent when expectations aren’t met? These have been the questions we have tried to answer in this project. The model that has been developed during 2015 allows us to identify the primary buttons that impact on the professional’s real behaviour to promote reputation.

How have we done it? Collaborative co-creation

Creating this model is a clear example of Corporate Excellence’s working process, in synch with what has been called collaborative economy. Alcor, given their long trajectory in this field, the scientific council of the Foundation and five big Spanish companies – Agbar (Suez Water Spain), Grupo Correos, ING Bank, Repsol and Telefónica have all participated in this project. The empirical research has been carried out with these companies, which have formed the first focus group to work in the development of the new model. All together, we have created a working team to research a topic until now not explored in the literature of commitment and corporate reputation.

This R&D project has counted with an initial qualitative phase where several focus groups have taken place, integrated by employees of the companies involved. There has been a latter quantitative phase to test the questionnaires based on the sample test of each company. The results that we sought this R&D project, of which we are very proud, are the following:

Identifying factors that impact on the responsibility / participation of the employees in the promotion of corporate reputation.

Structuring said factors in a model that gives out indicators; differentiating operating “buttons” for the Directors to increase such sense of responsibility, therefore improving its reputation management systems.

Gauging an initial marker of the levels of responsibility shown by the employees partaking in this research, which will help fine tune the model and create a common benchmark; as well as identifying improvement areas which can be defined in a plan of action.

This pilot project has allowed us to create an innovating model and test its scientific viability. It will also helped discover the factors impacting on conduct and which will allow promoting behaviours favourable to the global corporate reputation.

We have finished the methodology of this research, and are ready to begin a second edition that will cement the model and offer a more solid benchmark. In the following months we will organise a meeting to present the main findings. Companies who are interested in finding out more about our methods and delve deeper only have to contact us.

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