Reputational Brand Damage
What happens to your brand when someone is hurt on the job and people think you don't care about your staff?
"The safety of our staff is paramount," commented the CEO - we've all heard that, and it's said, often very genuinely, that it’s the most used response in these types of situations. But what if people don't believe it anymore?
In the aftermath of a serious safety incident, in today’s world it makes the news very quickly and doesn’t allow much time for any response.
Organizations are often critiqued for many things:
• Practices and procedures
• How they treat their staff
• Their leadership or senior management team
• Financial performance
• Their perception as an organization within the community
A culture of employee safety can never entirely remove all risk. But it’s better to have a safety plan in place in case something happens, than not have one at all. Having a safety plan in place shows that your organization is prepared and ready to respond when something does happen.
Some accidents are indeed accidents. But where poor performance, no policy or training have contributed to serious injury or death of an employee, people will find out. And that's a serious threat to a businesses' reputation, particularly when they don't get to control the message, or its circulation.
Suffering a blow to your reputation can hugely affect the following:
• Share price
• Perception of your brand and associated equity
• Ability to trade - large fines are “business killers”
• Profits - lower revenue due to lost customers
• Profits - less working capital due to cost of private litigation
• Staff morale
• Sickness rates / stress
• The ability to attract and retain staff
• Ability to obtain credit
Having a safety policy in place is key and lends to the ability to act quickly to minimize the negative damage to your brand. Your safety plan should be as comprehensive as possible, but also consider that not every inevitable situation can be listed. Therefore, it should be considered a "living" document and updated regularly.
Some key factors to include in the policy can be:
• Good risk assessment processes for managers and staff
• Clear management procedures that put in place measures to address identified and potential risks, and that deal with incidents when they occur
• Managers and staff accepting responsibility for, and supporting the need to operate systems, procedures and technology provided for their enhanced protection
• Sharing of information from within and outside the organization on identified and potential risks
• The provision of good quality training, whether that is to help staff to prevent and manage conflict that could escalate, or to use procedures, systems or devices provided for their security and safety, to their best effect
Do you have a current lone work policy in effect at your organization?
Find out more about how SoloProtect can help protect your company’s brand with our Safety Solutions, here.