Don't Get Featured in r/Antiwork!: How to Stay off the Internet's Bad Side
Word of mouth can affect your business a lot more than people might think, and in the age of the internet, dissatisfied employee complaints can leave a bad impression of the business they are talking about. It is important that you don't underestimate the power of the internet to change employee and consumer opinions, and instead work to create an environment that employees want to share in a positive light.
When you're in an ownership or management position, you know that word of mouth can affect your business a lot more than people might think. This is especially true if word of mouth comes from employees. It is normal for dissatisfied employees to vent about their work situation to friends, but in the age of the internet, they are now taking to the internet to complain about issues at work. This can leave a bad impression of the business they work for to potentially thousands or even millions of people if their post goes viral. It is important as a business owner that you don't underestimate the power of the internet to change employee and consumer opinions, and instead work to create an environment that employees want to share in a positive light.
What is r/Antiwork and How Does Reddit Work?
Reddit is a social media/chat board site that allows people to join communities, called subreddits, to discuss things they have in common. People use subreddits to connect with people at the same school, live in the same area, have similar hobbies, medical conditions, political opinions, and job types/titles. r/Antiwork is a subreddit with nearly 2 million users that states it is a place "for those who want to end work, are curious about ending work, want to get the most out of a work-free life, want more information on anti-work ideas and want personal help with their own jobs/work-related struggles."
Why Being Featured on r/Antiwork is Bad for Business
While members of r/Antiwork do share relatable posts about struggles that most of us face at work from time-to-time, it has also become a place to complain about specific businesses and employers. While some posters keep the business they work for anonymous, others call them out by name. With as many users as the subreddit has, and with how many users Reddit as a whole has, these types of reviews can be devastating for businesses, as they can cause them to lose customers and employees, and have trouble hiring new ones.
Having your business go viral online for a negative reason is generally not good, but places like the r/Antiwork subreddit and social media sites like TikTok can be more than just a few bad reviews or complaints. Users of these sites see someone talking about a bad experience they had, and rush to spam the business with bad reviews, even when they did not visit the place or work there themselves. This can cause ratings on sites like Google reviews to plummet rapidly when a post goes viral.
How to Increase Employee Satisfaction and Create a Great Employer Reputation
If you want to do the best you can to reduce the chance that your business ends up on a site like r/Antiwork, you will need to work towards increasing employee satisfaction and creating a great employer reputation. While you may already be working towards this, there is always room for improvement. Here are some things you can do to help your employees feel like they belong.
Give Your Employees a Voice
One of the most important things you can do to decrease conflicts between employees and employers is to give employees a voice. If an employee is complaining online about their employer, they may feel as if they don't have the ability to express themselves and address issues they are having at work with their superiors. This can build tension and resentment, leading to employees deciding to vent online.
Give your employees opportunities to speak up.
Make sure your employees have opportunities to speak with you and coworkers about any issues they may be struggling with at work. If employees don't feel like they can come to you about problems they are having, they may turn to other sources to vent their frustrations. It is important to build a work culture that makes employees feel like their opinion matters, because it does.
Ask questions to help solve conflicts.
If you feel as if your employees are frustrated, ask open-ended questions to figure out what they need. Sometimes a complex problem in the workplace actually has a simple solution if there is open communication between the employee and employer.
Encourage employees to share positive experiences online.
With the increasing amount of negative posts online, it can be helpful to encourage employees to talk about their positive work experiences online. This can make your business stand out in a good way. Don't make your employees feel obligated to share, but make them feel as if they are allowed to and create a positive environment that they want to talk about!
It is important to respect the boundaries of your employees. It can be hard to create a work-life balance, especially if an employer doesn't respect the boundaries of their employees. Allowing your employees to have personal time away from work where they can wind down can help them feel like you respect their time, and can keep them from feeling overwhelmed while at work. Having a good work-life balance can actually increase productivity while at work, making respecting personal life boundaries a win-win for everyone.
Build an Inclusive Environment
Inclusivity in the workplace can help to make employees feel like they belong. If one or more employees feel as if they are not meant to be there because of others' attitudes towards them, it can create that resentment that leads to venting online. Work to make sure all your employees feel included, and pay attention to how your employees treat each other. It is important to address anyone who is creating an environment that is not inclusive early on and coach them on the values you want to see.
Close the Gaps Between Employee and Employer
Closing the gap between employee and employer means making your employees feel like they have the same amount of power and respect as those above them. Employees that feel as if they have power are more likely to share positive experiences online, while employees that feel outcast and downtrodden will likely not have anything positive to say about their workplace.
Create Employee Incentives and Rewards
Employees that feel as if their work is leading towards something more than just a paycheck are generally more motivated and have a more positive experience at work. SparkPlug is the world's first incentive management platform for frontline employees. SparkPlug is an all-in-one tool designed to reward top performers, launch sales contests, create team goals, automate payouts, measure campaign ROI, offer commissions, track promotions, and more. If you're interested in how SparkPlug can help create a great employer reputation, contact us today and see what SparkPlug can do for your business.
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