Thanks to social media, ex-employees and employees now have louder voices than ever, and an audience that wants to listen.

“When workers and customers can instantly share their opinions of a company with thousands of people, concerns like morale, transparency and fairness must become an integral part of how businesses manage their reputation”,
COO, Sodexo Michael Norris.

To put this in perspective, US$3.6 trillion in retail sales are directly influenced by online reviews and social media. Clearly, the bottom line impact of adverse comments can be huge.

According to Aon’s “Trends in Global Employee Engagement”, one of the top drivers of employee engagement is a company’s reputation. And since we know how costly it can be to have unengaged employees, a company should aim to keep also previous workers happy.

Millennials will work less than three years in a company and could hold somewhere from 15 to 20 jobs over their working lives. As a result, the likelihood that at least one job will end in acrimony is also high, and they will broadcast their versions of why on social media.

An Ernst & Young “Center for  Business Innovation study of 275 portfolio managers investors consider that among the non-financial criteria for investing in a company, the number five reason (in a ranking of 39) is: A company’s ability to attract and retain employees. The study revealed that a surprising 35 percent of investment decisions were guided by non-financial considerations like a company’s reputation for content employees.

According to a Gallup study companies with engaged workforces have higher earnings per share (EPS) and seem to have recovered from the recession at a faster rate. A recent study by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.