Tuesday, July 21, 2009

If your employees are happy, they won't blog against you

The following was the first paragraph in a recent post on Inland Utopia:

The company I work for entered the Top 20 in companies that have the worst score in employee satisfaction. Out of a –50 to 50 scale employees rate their employer on jobvent.com. Maybe private equity firms need to understand that chopping things down to the bone will not help much with customer or associate satisfaction.

I recently spoke about establishing guidelines for what employees can and cannot say. In my view, the paragraph above fits within the domain of free expression - the first part of the paragraph is a statement of fact, and the last part is opinion that would usually be protected - but perhaps Inland Utopia's employer would disagree. I mean, if sports coaches can have their freedom of speech restricted when talking about officiating, then a private equity firm can restrict freedom of speech when people talk about private equity firms. After all, freedom of speech applies to government issues, not business issues.

But - and this is the important part - if said private equity firm wasn't engaged in the things they were doing, the employees would be happier, and the writer at Inland Utopia never would have written the blog post in question.

And jobvent.com has its rules. Here are some of them:

No company deserves -5 in every category. Think hard about the ratings you're giving. A score of mostly -5s is likely to be removed.

You must enter enough comments to adequately justify your ratings.

Don't use profanity.


Specify the real location where you work, in "City, State" format. Responses such as "anywhere" or "every office" will be removed

Do not personally attack anyone, or mention anyone by name or initials.

Do not rate a company more than once (if we see a trend across reviews they will be removed)

And remember, even highly-rated Teavana has some negative reviews, and I'm sure Inland Utopia's employer has some positive ones.
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