Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Complaining about your Company

We all have heard the stories of people being fired because of an email they sent, or a blog post complaining about their job or boss. It just makes sense, from the business perspective, that you are either supportive of the company paying you or you should not work there. Consider that Word of Mouth is the most persuasive form of marketing and if you tell something to the right person, you run the risk of igniting a fire of negative buzz. With that in mind, you may consider adding a clause to your employment contract such as: Positive Word of Mouth is import to any company. Anyone found complaining or speaking poorly about the company to people outside of the company's management team may be terminated. This is going to seem harsh. We all complain at times. But think about it from this perspective. If I placed an ad in a local paper that stated that the company was bad, it would be obvious that I must go. If I blog about the buffoons in our office (mostly me) I would be a bad employee that is damaging the business. Telling stories is the same. The juicier they are, the more they will spread. One friendly spouse of an employee could tell a few people that could set your sales off for the year. The best thing to do is create an environment where there is just nothing bad to say. Employees should also feel free to express complaints to the management team. That said, let them know there are consequences to creating negative buzz to the company and for them.