We are very proud of the success of the Repudometer® we’ve developed; it is one of the first research tools in South Africa that has been developed to measure organisational reputation.
Why is it important to know what your reputation is? Research has shown that an organisation with a positive reputation attracts and retains top employees; this enhances products and services delivery, which in turn results in customers wanting to support your business and ultimately positively contributing to your bottom line. Understanding what area of your business is important to your different stakeholder groups will help you to refine your business strategies to take your business and reputation to the next level.
There are five key elements that we measure when evaluating an organisation’s reputation based on stakeholder feedback and perceptions. It is important to note that there is an overlap with all these dimensions, they are not mutually exclusive. The whole organisation needs to work in unison. You can’t have wonderful marketing, but not have a sufficiently resourced staff compliment, nor does it help if you have fantastic workers but not have the necessary tools for them to do their work properly. Balance in all spheres of the business is vital when it comes to building a reputation.
When building a reputation, you need a solid foundation; the building blocks (dimensions) illustrated is the basis of our Repudometer® tool, which is used to quantify reputations. These dimensions are not mutually exclusive, but all impact one another, which is why there needs to be a balance in all activities related to the various reputation influencers and their dimensions.
Each key stakeholder group, are asked both closed and open-ended questions pertaining to these dimensions. The surveys are either distributed electronically or manually. Contact us today to customise your Repudometer requirement email@example.com
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Corporate Management comprises of the Strategic Intent of the organisation in terms of the organisation’s sustainability and implementation of the vision, mission and objectives of business as well as its leadership. The other element that forms part of this dimension is Operational Governance, this is where the effectiveness of the policies and procedures, in other words the ‘how we do things around here’ impacts the ultimate reputation of an organisation.
The next dimension, Corporate Capital, investigates the Human and Operational Capital element within the business. Human Capital is about making sure that the right people are employed to do their work. Aspects such as skills and training, the cultural mix within the organisation, as well as the quality of the employees that are employed are looked at. Operational Capital is about making sure that the human capital within the organisation that has been invested in has the right tools to excel at their work, and encourages continuous innovativeness of the skills pool.
Corporate Positioning looks at the importance of Strategic Alliances and partnerships that the organisation has in the market. These alliances form an integral part in reputation building. If one of the partners’ values and ethics come into disrepute, purely by association your company’s reputation will also be questioned. It is therefore very important to select strategic alliances and partnerships very carefully. Corporate Social Investment (CSI) is the other element that will be focussed on in this chapter. CSI is about how the organisation gives and invests back into the community. It is important that these community investment initiatives are sustainable and make a lasting impact to those that are less fortunate, and not just used as marketing ploys and importantly creating a culture of dependency.
Corporate Performance measures the perception that stakeholders have of how the organisation is performing both in terms of Business Results and the Value Offering. Transparency in relaying business results, investor attractiveness, profitability, share prices and commercial viability all play important parts in this dimension of an organisation’s business’ reputation. The quality and the value associated of products produced and the services offered by the business relates to the organisation’s Value Offering. This impacts how much people are willing to invest in a specific product or service and ultimately impacts and reiterates the value of the organisation and resultant reputation.
The glue that ties all of these dimensions together is Corporate Dialogue. Two-way communication with stakeholders is pivotal for any organisation to timeously communicate the right message through the most appropriate channels of communication to the various stakeholders. It is also important to have feedback mechanisms in place to understand whether the message has been understood; thereby building mutually beneficial relationships. Internal Communication linked to change management initiatives, employee relations, morale and team dynamics as well as loyalty all contribute to employees’ perceptions of the organisation. Employees play a vital role in the reputation of an organisation, very often this is where the reputation of an organisation starts, as their daily perceptions and interactions are communicated to other stakeholders not necessarily directly associated to the organisation. External Communication looks at engagement with stakeholders outside of the organisation be it through media liaison, marketing, public relations activities or social media engagement. Linked to external communication is stakeholder satisfaction and loyalty. Whatever is communicated both internally and externally, it is important that the overall messages resonate with the overall strategic intent of the business.
Balance of all these different elements is important in all spheres of the business, aligning your communication and actions according to the requirements to those stakeholders that are most important to the sustainability of the business will help businesses to build and enhance their reputations.
The value of research is therefore immense, but the value of regular research is immeasurable.