October 03

Stop Scorned Staff From Damaging Your Reputation As An Employer

As an employer, you do everything possible to find the best staff for your team. Still, the best employers get it wrong sometimes. It may be that someone who looks perfect on paper doesn’t fit your firm. Or, perhaps a fantastic member of staff made too many stupid mistakes. Either way, most employers have to tackle the S word at some stage during their journey.

While never easy, the hope is that the staff member will accept their fault and move on without trouble. They may ask you for a reference, but that should be where things end. Sadly, that isn’t always the case. Sacked staff will often feel scorned, and thus seek to damage your reputation as an employer.

If they succeed, you could have trouble finding replacements. You would undoubtedly struggle to gain the best candidates. As such, this is something you want to avoid. And, we have a few pointers which could help you do that.

Consider the law throughout

The very worst case scenario is that an ex-staff member sues you for unfair dismissal. News like this travels fast, and that’s a stain no amount of scrubbing would clean. If they win the case against you, you can kiss goodbye to ever having good employment prospects. Lucky for you, keeping the law in mind can save you from facing this disaster. First, ensure that your reason for sacking this person is legal. Often, bad work ethic isn’t enough. You need a solid reason. This could be as simple as continual lateness, or failure to deliver what you asked of them. Either way, be specific to protect yourself. If in doubt, research the legality beforehand. Note, too, that you should contact a lawyer for settling legal disputes the moment you notice trouble. Ignoring interactions and turning to the law straight off is the best way to come out of this without blame.

Work on damage limitation

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With a lawyer fighting your corner, you’ll be free to work on damage limitation. Often, scorned staff members will spread their message where they can. They may leave bad reviews on your blog or website, as well as posting scathing comments on your social media. Pass these straight to your lawyer without responding. Then, delete them before the entirety of your audience sees. By acting fast, you can limit any significant repercussions from attacks like these. Thus, you’ll leave at least some reputation intact to build upon when this is over.

Take accusations onboard

Once you’ve removed the risk of this message spreading, it’s also worth thinking about the accusations thrown at you. Often, these will be unfounded and unfair. But, if an accusation gets under your skin, there’s a good chance it’s true. By accepting that and making changes, you can become a better employer and stop this from happening again. Whatever you do, though, don’t admit fault to the staff member in question. Keep any changes subtle and in-house. Otherwise, even a lawyer won’t be able to save you.