Every business has a reputation. It’s the summation of opinions and beliefs about your business which have been formed by your past activities or the biases that people may hold about you. Positive experiences lead to a positive reputation and vice versa. Simple in concept, managing your reputation can, in reality, be like herding cats. 

The fact that reputation is based on subjectivity doesn’t mean that it’s not real. Belief dictates behavior, and the intangible concept of reputation can have REAL impacts on your business.  It can take years to build your reputation but only seconds to destroy it.  

Corporate leaders deeply understand the impacts of reputation, often citing potential damage to company reputation as their number one concern. In a 2014 survey, 88% of executives said they were explicitly focusing on reputation as a key business challenge. Reputation problems tend to have the biggest impact on revenue and brand value. Companies that experienced a negative reputation event said the areas which were affected the most included loss of revenue and loss of brand value (41% each).  

Intuitively, this makes sense. Customers tend to avoid buying from businesses who make them look bad. In an economy where more than 70% of market value comes from intangible assets such as brand equity and goodwill, organizations are especially vulnerable to anything that damages their reputation – like poor workplace safety. 

Safety’s Impact on Reputation

The state of your company workplace safety practices and culture are intrinsically linked to your organization’s reputation. Good safety practices are a critical path to building and maintaining trust, and trust is an inseparable part of a positive reputation. If you lose trust, you lose reputation, and vice versa. Bad safety ultimately equates to a bad reputation.  

This is a major challenge.  

Workplace safety incidents occur on an hourly basis in North America, and stories of tragic consequences are often front-page news. This is amplified by the rise of smartphones which turn bystanders into real-time broadcasters. What was once restricted to a local news story can be shared instantaneously on a global scale. Unfortunately, when news spreads, the headlines may not communicate all of the facts and that information can form long-term beliefs that become permanent. 

Even if an incident doesn’t get shared in real-time, occupational health and safety investigations often bring safety issues into the public sphere ‘after the fact’, and review sites provide the opportunity for customers, and employees to publicly share their stories about company practices and experiences (including safety).   

Reputation Management (and Safety Management) is a Choice

It is impossible to remove 100% of the risk from the workplace. Safety incidents are inevitable and when they happen somebody is going to hear about it. It’s not a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’.  

Inevitability is not, however, synonymous with helplessness. Choosing to invest in your lone worker safety helps mitigate risks in a number of ways. First, a robust safety program helps reduces the probability of incidents, which in turn reduces exposure to events that could negatively impact your reputation. A critical component of any robust lone worker safety program is to ensure workers have a way to call for help and that you have a plan in place to respond. This helps reduce the probability of minor incidents leading to severe consequences. It also demonstrates a high level of “duty of care” and provides you with the ability to communicate your commitment after incidents occur. This proof can be the critical difference to how people formulate beliefs about your company.  

Mitigating safety risk is directly related to mitigating reputation risk. Investment in the first can have big payoff on the latter. 

Go Above and Beyond

Building a strong safety reputation goes beyond doing just the bare minimum. Being a ‘safe organization’ is a table stake; it’s expected. To really see dividends, it’s about becoming proactive with the delivery of safety programs. If you focus is purely on handling reputation issues ‘after they’ve happened’ you aren’t mitigating risk, you are purely focused on crisis management.   

Top performing organizations move beyond risk mitigation and start to see safety and its connection to reputation as a critical asset to the bottom line. Safety-focused organizations – with strong positive reputations – are able to more easily attract customers; lower customer churn; and attract and retain high performing employees.

Furthermore, companies with positive reputations are perceived as providing more value, allowing them to charge premium prices. 

Built to a More Rigorous Set of Standards

Many safety companies all take the same approach when trying to protect lone workers – off the shelf, one size fits all products geared towards driving their bottom line. We believe that this approach simply isn’t good enough. Safety is not the place to cut corners. It’s just too risky.

That’s why SolusGuard is built to a more rigorous set of standards. Our best-in-class platform provides THE most reliable safety platform to protect people from the increased risks of working alone. The result is an enterprise-level lone worker safety solution you can truly trust to help protect your workers and your business.