While working with job seekers, we hear a lot of stories about employers. We know there are two sides to every story, but sometimes the stories are consistently bad about the same employer. Why does this happen and what can you, as an employer, do about it?

People complain most about being let go, laid off or fired when they did not see it coming. Employees who understand the expectations of the employer and the working conditions going in are far less likely to speak poorly about you later.

Why should you, as an employer, care? While it may be true you parted on “bad” terms and from your point of view, this was the result of the employee’s actions (or lack of action), having a bad reputation in your town can cause you to miss out on some new and potentially great employees. Like so many things, it all boils down to communication.

Top Four Things Employees Say

  1. I didn’t get paid at all or as much as I thought I would get, or didn’t get overtime pay.
  2. I was asked to work more hours or provided with fewer hours than I expected.
  3. I was given duties that I didn’t know I would have, didn’t have training for, or couldn’t do. Along with this one, we hear folks saying they did not feel safe at work.
  4. I was treated disrespectfully, yelled at, and/or put down in front of others.

If attracting great new employees is something you are focused on doing, you may find that focusing on three things can make a huge difference.

  1. “onboarding” (a process of orienting new employees to your company)
  2. Communicating changes and why. This goes a long way to better relationships, even when you have to lay off or terminate. An employee who knows what to expect and understands what changed is more likely to speak favourably about you later.
  3. Cultivate a culture of respect – it’s the golden rule “Treat others the way you want to be treated”.

Every employer faces staffing ups and downs. Are you an employer that people speak of positively, no matter the circumstances of the parting?  What simple changes can you make to become the most highly sought after place of employment in your town or city? Look back at your last termination or lay off – what would you do differently next time?

by Kathy Low, Guest Blogger for Agilec 

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