Low morale and red tape harm reputation, says B-M

Low staff morale and bureaucracy are among the biggest threats to a company’s reputation, according to a survey of European business leaders and corporate watchers published this week.

The study by Burson-Marsteller and The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 685 analysts, CEOs and other 'business influentials' in 65 countries. They ranked employee disillusionment, internal politics and the departure of top executives as the three most important indications that a company's reputation was at risk.

But the European business community also ranked bureaucracy and 'employees no longer telling positive stories' as the fourth and fifth most serious indications that a company's reputation was on the wane.

Globally, the report, 'Cures for the Company Blues', ranked the displacement of CEO credibility with CEO celebrity, and staff describing their customers as nuisances, in fourth and fifth place. B-M chief knowledge and research officer Leslie Gaines-Ross said low staff morale triggered other problems, namely lower performance and 'loose talk' outside the organisation.

'In a world of blogs and newsrooms everything internal is external,' she said.

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