Tag Archives: donald trump

Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’: How employers are reacting

When Brexit was announced, internal comms teams had to be on their feet and make sure they communicated with worried employees.

But now, on the other side of the pond, the US is dealing with a much more controversial issue – Trump’s immigration halt.

Banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, companies have had to not only comfort scared – or reassure angry – employees, but make a stand and be an employer worth working for.

While companies usually tend to hide from the turbulent world of politics, not wanting to side with or anger employees and customers, Trump’s immigration ban has forced them to speak out. A huge number of companies have taken a stance, from Facebook and Google to Airbnb and Etsy – and they’re determined to make a difference.

Nike

“Nike believes in a world where everyone celebrates the power of diversity.

“Regardless of whether or how you worship, where you come from or who you love, everyone’s individual experience is what makes us stronger as a whole.

“Those values are being threatened. This is a policy we don’t support.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of every member of our family: our colleagues, our athletes and their loved ones.”

These are extracts from a rare political email to employees from Nike CEO Mark Parker. He then drew upon those impacted, including sponsored British athlete Mo Farah, who was originally born in Somalia and now lives in Ethiopia, who shared a statement about his concerns and how it personally affects him.

Nike’s values focus on fair play and an even playing field. While there’s no statement of action in this email, it provides its people and athletes with reassurance that Nike won’t be sacrificing its morals to please the President.

 

Amazon

Jeff Bezos and Trump have famously never seen eye-to-eye.

Back before he won Presidency, Trump tweeted: “[Bezos] wants political influence so that Amazon will benefit from it. That’s not right. And believe me, if I become president, oh, do they have problems.”

Despite extending the olive branch when Trump emerged victorious last year, it seems Bezos can’t let this one slide.

Following the announcement of the travel ban, Bezos first told employees in an internal email: “From the very beginning, Amazon has been committed to equal rights, tolerance and diversity—and we always will be. As we’ve grown the company, we’ve worked hard to attract talented people from all over the world, and we believe this is one of the things that makes Amazon great—a diverse workforce helps us build better products for customers.”

And a few days later, Bezos pledged the full legal resources of his company to fight the travel ban – with Amazon being the largest online retailer in the world, this is no small order.

He said in an email: “We reached out to congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to explore legislative options. Our legal team has prepared a declaration of support for the Washington State Attorney General who will be filing suit against the order. We are working other legal options as well.”

Amazon operates in more than 30 countries and has a huge workforce. By using his power to make a stand, Bezos will gain the trust of his employees and has set the tone for how other major organisations should stand up for their employees.

Uber

New York City taxi drivers went on strike to show their solidarity to those affected by the travel ban, refusing to pick up passengers from JFK airport.

However, Uber became subject to online backlash when it decided to continue operating and turned off surge pricing (where rates are automatically raised due to demand) – which the public saw as Uber as taking the opportunity to make a tidy profit.

#DeleteUber trended on Twitter and hundreds deleted the app.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick – one of Trump’s chosen economic advisors – is keen to work alongside Trump and, in a meeting, told employees: “We’ll partner with anyone in the world as long they’re about making transportation in cities better, creating job opportunities, making it easier to get around, getting pollution out of the air and traffic off the streets.”

While he considers pollution and job opportunities, Kalanick’s statement lacks a nod towards human rights and a focus on looking after his drivers.

In an attempt to put his company back in the public’s good books, Kalanick tweeted he was against the ban and had set up a $3million legal defence fund for those affected.

 

Guest blog: Employees need to be brand advocates in a digital world

Julia Brook, Director of PR Services at Lea Barn Consultancy, explains why embracing digital means businesses must safeguard their reputation with employees – not just external customers.

In today’s social media-driven world, organisations are more exposed than ever before.

Gone are the days when bad news could be buried and unethical corporate behaviour swept under the carpet. In the digital economy, businesses face higher levels of scrutiny from customers, colleagues, prospective employees, shareholders and stakeholders alike.

Companies of all sizes – and in every industry – have to be accountable for what they say and do, with instances of unethical or unjust behaviour managed proactively rather than reactively. Just ask Donald Trump.

So while there is a huge opportunity and, indeed, imperative for organisations to invest in and benefit from new communication platforms, a focus on reputational risk must be a priority.

This has obvious implications for internal communications and employee relations. Research from Accenture Strategy found that 60 per cent of employees publicly share information about their rewards, salaries and opinions of their manager’s performance on social media sites.

Similarly, websites like glassdoor.co.uk have risen to prominence, enabling professionals to share reviews on the best and worst companies to work for, as well as compare salaries and experiences.

Such sites have the potential to impact your brand not only with potential employees but also customers whom are likely to make purchase decisions based on reputation. The media furore over zero-hours contracts and backlash again Sports Direct springs to mind.

Internal communications takes on new importance in this environment. If organisations truly care about attracting and retaining the top talent, it’s vital they:

• Are in tune with their workforce
• Communicate relevant and honest information on a regular basis
• Have the overall aim of ensuring employees become brand advocates in the same way as external customers.

It’s also important that the workforce is your first port of call when crisis hits. Bearing in mind the speed of social media, internal communications have a key role to play in keeping employees informed about what has happened and what is happening.

When corporate reputation is on the line, speedy internal communications are now as important as preparing external statements. Employees should not have to read about bad news on social media before receiving the official (and honest) version of events from the senior team.

So while digital provides exciting opportunities for all organisations, we shouldn’t forget that it also needs careful management.

Companies aren’t able to hide, so they have to be open and honest with their employees – great internal process and dedicated communications platforms will mean an external crisis or threat to corporate reputation need not also be an internal one.