Computers and internet have enabled businesses to market their services online and reach a large number of persons. However, it also created a situation where employees badmouth the company using the anonymity of the internet. How to tackle such a scenario?
Well, it is one thing to establish ground rules advising employees not to talk badly about organization online. However, such instructions, if made mandatory, is only going to spoil your goodwill further. The fact that you have imposed such a restriction on employee will imply that you have something to hide. Employee cribbing about the employer and criticizing work is not new.
Not many are satisfied with their jobs. Even if they are satisfied, they will always have some complaint or the other about employers or colleagues. The internet only facilitates wider dissemination of their views. What steps can you take to prevent this? You can set up an in house system where criticism and problems can be tackled. Few employees will be interested in badmouthing the firm or work if they are given a chance to be heard in the office itself.
Of course, this will require a lot of discipline from your side. You will have to guarantee complete anonymity and will also have to make it very clear that criticism is not going to lead to censure or penal action. Of course, do not expect the employees to believe you immediately. However, if you successfully setup the in house system, you can easily protect the image of your organization on the internet.
As time goes by and as more and more employees log on to the internet, it is just a question of time before negative information posted about your company gains prominence. Rather than suppressing the information, you should try to remove such complaints as early as possible.