Your business might offer fantastic products or services, and at a great price. But what about your reputation?
How you treat your employees and customers can make or break your reputation. And Omaha isn’t a city where you want a bad reputation if you want your business to succeed.
Managing the #MeToo Era
The #MeToo movement prompted important conversations about proper workplace conduct. It benefitted both women and men.
Harvard Business Review calls the trend of calling out and ending sexual harassment a “norms cascade.” That’s a sudden societal shift in what people consider acceptable grounded in long-term trends.
While some workplaces used to be “boys clubs,” now sexual harassment can – and likely will – be swiftly exposed and harshly judged.
While sexual harassment happens in all industries, it’s most common in workplaces where women directly interact with customers, reported the HBR.
Restaurant workers, for example, encounter harassment from co-workers, managers and customers. This makes for a stressful work environment.
Of course, men experience sexual harassment in the workplace, too, but like women, may fear retribution or embarrassment if they report it.
What can employers do? Make it clear your workplace has a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment of any kind. Set clear guidelines how employees can easily – and without retribution – report harassment.
And if an employee makes a complaint, take it seriously and handle it swiftly. Otherwise, a social media post could circulate about how your workplace doesn’t act against harassers.
Such posts will damage your image with current and potential clients, as well as job candidates.
Short-Term Program Helps Avoid Layoffs
Employers can reduce employees’ hours instead of laying them off under a statewide program from the Nebraska Department of Labor. Affected employees can then receive prorated unemployment benefits.
Short Term Compensation (STC) is appropriate for temporary slow-downs in business. It benefits both employers and employees.
Employers don’t lose trained and knowledgeable employees. They also don’t have to keep people full-time when revenue is slow or stalled.
Employers also bolster their image as a business unwilling to let its workers go because of the financial impact it would have on them.
For employees, the benefits are obvious – they keep their jobs at reduced hours yet receive some unemployment compensation. They’re also eligible to keep their healthcare benefits despite not working full-time when enrolled in this program.
That way their quality of life isn’t drastically affected by the workplace slow-down.
Weekly certifications are required from both employers and employees. Check out the eligibility requirements to ensure you qualify to participate in the STC program.
Bolster Reputations via Donations
Whatever your size of business, you likely field many requests from local organizations that seek sponsors. While it feels good to give, is it smart for you to spend marketing dollars to donate or sponsor local organizations?
The answer is clearly yes.
The idea of community is increasing important in the Omaha metro area. People want to believe the people they buy from are active in the community and care about their neighbors, employees and customers.
That’s why having your business name on a league jersey or prominently featured in the program of a live performance can bolster your reputation and increase your business.
Possible Tax Advantages
Set a specific amount for community giving as part of your marketing budget. There can be tax advantages when you donate to or sponsor community organization, but not always. The organization you donate to must be a registered 501 (c) (3). They should provide documentation of their designation. Speak with your tax professional before you assume your donation has tax advantages.
And just as you would when you donate personal funds, make sure it’s an organization you not only believe in, but that’s well-run and uses donations wisely.
If you’re not careful about to whom you donate, your motivations could be questioned.