Employees gone rogue—5 immediate PR steps to save your company

by | Oct 22, 2018 | Public Relations

Why do employees go rogue?

Catherine Erikson, VP of Sales and Marketing (HealthCare Marketing Group) sums it up by saying that encountering rogue employees is an organic part of developing and growing a successful business.

That’s all well and good, but what can you do when your company becomes victimized by a rogue? Below are a few tips to implement:

An ounce of prevention…

It’s easy to experience a wave of emotions after realizing that your once trusted and nurtured employee has gone rogue. After all, your company gave the former employee a chance. After all of the faith, trust, and development that went into the troublesome person, it’s normal for your team to feel as if the bottom is dropping out.

When an occurrence like this takes place, your first reaction is often to become defensive. But here’s the problem: Behaving defensively at the very least leaves room for mistakes to happen. And worse, when a company behaves defensively, they appear to be guilty of the narrative that the rogue employee is attempting to perpetuate.

In instances such as these, the key is not to react defensively, but to respond confidently. And that confidence is realized when companies are prepared with PR crisis plans.

Offense is the best defense

In fact, the advice that companies should take note of, especially in the social media age of reputation management and promotion, is to set up clear instructions on how employees should behave and respond in the event of a PR crisis.

It’s human nature for employees to appear as if they’re in the know. As such, they’ll become extremely tempted to gossip about the crisis to friends, family, or worse, to members of the press when asked!

Keep everyone on script

As a company, it’s in your best interest to ward off confidentiality leaks before an incident occurs by creating crisis-related scripts for key employees to follow. Lower-level employees should be instructed to refer all inquiries about the crisis to your marketing, HR, or crisis management teams.

Marketo also advises companies to have a template press release or statement at the ready. This keeps all parties involved on brand, and on message. This also reassures the public and company stakeholders that your key employees are aware and on top of resolving the crisis. But with this stated, don’t give in to the temptation of becoming defensive by offering more information than what is needed in the moment.

When the storm hits…

It’s great to have a PR crisis plan in place before an incident occurs, but what happens when an incident actually occurs? When you realize that there’s been a data breach, when you notice a significant amount of stolen inventory, or when the press calls for your response to a narrative, how do you neutralize the rogue employee in the storm of the situation?

Access denied!

You need to take immediate action to plug up any holes in your data or brand messaging by immediately meeting up with your IT and security teams.

But first things first—deactivate the disgruntled employee’s access to your electronics and your servers, especially if you’ve hired any remote/telecommute employees.

After you’ve ensured that the offending person can’t gain access to any of your electronic data, the next step is to prevent them from having access to your property, along with building access. If you’ve hired an in-house or contracted security team, then make sure that they are aware of what the offender looks like.

Strip the offender of any badges or entry cards in their possession, then deactivate their building access. Empower the security teams to work with the local authorities if the offender becomes belligerent or violent after being prevented building access.

Whether you’re operating a business for professional resume writers near downtown Chicago, or whether you manage a team of remotes, knowing how to protect against rogue attacks is crucial for your business survival.

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Jeremy Sutter
Jeremy Sutter is a freelance writer and former mobile marketing manager at Adobe.

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