How D&I professionals can help reduce the reputational impact of toxic work culture

Are you someone working in a Diversity and Inclusion role? A role that is either brand new to your organisation or has been part of their structure for a while? Maybe you’re even one of the lucky few to be in a team of DEI people! Whatever the set up of your organisation, we understand the ongoing dedication it takes to help create and implement strategies, policies and training that help protect and support all employees from across the company.

This is truer than ever if the organisation you are working for is currently under media and public scrutiny because of its reputation for having a poor work culture - which is happening to more organisations than you’d think. We’ve seen it happen with BrewDog, who have, since allegations of toxic culture arose last year, appointed a new chief executive and an independent diversity specialist to try and to make amends. And then there’s companies such as Abercrombie & Fitch who hired a Global Chief Diversity Officer and have had D&I roles for nearly two decades, but only after lawsuits were brought against the global fashion retailer for unfair dismissal and racial discrimination. 

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As the old saying goes, it can take a lifetime to build a reputation but only seconds to destroy it. Our research shows the damage a poor reputation can do: 66% of people wouldn’t accept a job at a company known for having a bad culture, 71% of investors wouldn’t invest in a company that had a poor reputation, and 62% of consumers wouldn’t buy a product or service from a company with a reputation for treating its employees poorly.

Many companies may not spark public protests, be the subject of a damning documentary, face high-profile lawsuits or be taken to the Supreme Court, but behind the scenes issues can still have damaging effects. This could be a decline in interested investors because your workplace with poor culture isn’t performing or receiving negative Glassdoor reviews. A staggering 82% of investors wouldn’t invest in a company that had been embroiled in a public scandal. And 45% of employees say they would leave a bad Glassdoor review or warn people about applying for a job with a company, because of a bad culture. A similar percentage of people (46%) say they wouldn’t apply for a job with a company that had poor Glassdoor reviews.

In addition, our previous study shows that employee absenteeism, presenteeism, retention and productivity all suffer when problematic behaviour in the workplace goes unresolved, resulting in potentially billions of pounds in lost productivity and costs to cover the consequences.

Over our time meeting with and speaking to Diversity and Inclusion managers, whether they have only just started in a newly created role and know the obstacles they must overcome or whether they’ve been in that position for a number of years, they all realise their goal is the same as ours and have been intrigued about how Culture Shift can help.

Many have commented that our award-winning Report + Support system is just what their organisation could benefit from to allow their employees to anonymously report incidents of bullying, discrimination, harassment and other forms of misconduct they experience or witness. It gives them an alternative route other than having to talk directly to HR, their line manager or even another colleague should they not want to and the option for anonymity has massively helped users of it to overcome fears of repercussions or attention. From your perspective you’d get a full and true picture of your organisation’s culture and be able to act on any potentially worrying trends before they become whistleblowing issues.

If you think our platform is something that could help your organisation and you in your role, why not book a call below with one of our dedicated partnerships team to talk more about it with you? You can also download our latest report on the reputational risk companies face if they don’t prevent bullying and harassment here - it could really help you build a business case for some anonymous reporting software.

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