How to Ensure Employee Problems Don’t Affect Your PR Business’ Reputation


Your employees are a vital component of your PR business, and much of your success relies on their efforts and abilities. They can boost your profits and be of considerable value to your business when everything’s going well, but if anything goes wrong, it can have a severe impact on your productivity, as well as being time-consuming to deal with. What’s more, it can also have a knock-on effect on the way your PR business is portrayed to outside influences, affecting your brand’s reputation as a whole. There are numerous difficulties you could encounter in the workplace, and it pays to have strategies in place to deal with any problem behaviors or staffing issues that arise.

Dealing with problems

Potential problems you may encounter with staff include:

  • Poor time-keeping
  • Regular absence
  • Poor quality work
  • Reduced productivity
  • Repeated mistakes
  • Defiance of regulations
  • Disputes between staff members
  • Poor customer service
  • Bullying or harassment
  • Deception
  • Dishonesty

In most instances, the first course of action is to try and find out why the employee is behaving this way, and whether there’s any action that can be taken to improve matters. For instance, if they’re making mistakes or their work quality has dropped, is it because they need more or better training with a particular PR sector? Are they having problems with arriving at work on time because of transport difficulties that you could assist with by adjusting their working hours?

It’s often the case that problems at home or health issues are affecting someone’s work life, and although it’s often said that you should leave your personal problems at the door when you get to work, it’s not always as easy as that. If your employee is experiencing a serious relationship problem or is suffering from depression, those kinds of issues can’t be switched off at will. By talking to your employees, you can discover what’s going on in their lives, and provide appropriate support to help them through a difficult time.

What’s more, you will gain the reputation of being a caring, sensitive brand, which will influence how employees discuss you in conversations outside of the workplace. By ignoring personal issues and coming down hard on specific employees, it can breed discontent and resentment within the workforce, making it likely they will vent about this treatment to those closest to them. For certain brands, this could mean losing a valuable customer, due to how someone they care about was treated in your office.

Serious problems

In some instances, you may encounter serious staff issues that require more direct action. If you find evidence that someone’s been behaving dishonestly or abusing other members of staff, disciplinary action might be called for. You should have procedures in place that direct how you should deal with disciplinary matters, based on the employment legislation applicable to your PR business. However, it’s important to be sure your guidelines are up to date so that you can be confident you are taking the appropriate action. If you fail to follow the letter of the law with your staff, you could find yourself facing legal action from them, which opens up further potential problems. The wisest way to proceed is to seek legal advice from a specialist labor and employment law firm like Gignilliat Savitz & Bettis LLP. They can advise you on how to proceed with serious staff disciplinary matters, and act for you should an employee seek recourse through the courts for perceived mistreatment.

Of course, it goes without saying how damaging a lawsuit is for the reputation of any brand, especially for a brand working within Public Relations. In some circumstances, it may force a business to close its doors. Therefore, it’s in the best interest of both the company and the employees working for it to address serious problems sooner rather than later.

To conclude

Staff that are well-chosen in the first place, well looked after, rewarded and valued by their employers are an irreplaceable asset who will be loyal to your PR business. If you’re the kind of boss who nurtures their employees, you shouldn’t encounter staff problems too often. However, when you do, make sure you know how to handle them. Doing so effectively and quickly can not only protect your brand’s reputation, but it can also boost it to those who matter most – your employees and potential customers. In the PR industry, you are constantly in the public eye, so it is essential to have a strong team who can be relied upon, who can respect you as a leader and an employer.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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