by Alex Palmer | October 08, 2013
The rise of social media has made the relationship between employees and their employers increasingly public. A new study finds that, because of this, the well-being and satisfaction of workers — which is often shared on social media sites — is having a growing impact on the reputations of their companies.

The research, conducted by a team at France’s Neoma Business School, drew on the responses of companies in a number of business sectors. It found that employee wellbeing at their workplaces influences the social media presence and reputations of the organizations for which they work.

“We observe an increasing and consistent need to address the heightened role of employees in social media, regardless of whether the company has an official presence there,” said Joonas Rokka, an author of the study, in a statement. 

In addition to Rokka, researchers Katariina Karlsson and Janne Tienari also authored the study. Rokka added that this need grows from the increasing power individuals have in spreading influential word-of-mouth news and information to others, including customers, colleagues, and friends. 

“The ways in which companies balance between managing work and private lives of their employees as well as openness and control becomes an issue that needs careful attention,” said Rokka.

The research also found that organizations look at reputation management in social media as a balancing act of tensions and challenges related to branding and managing employees. Workers are seen as fundamental to all of this, and their well-being proved to be a key variable in this balance.

“When companies trust and treat employees fairly, and employ good day-to-day management practices, employees will do good for the company in return,” said Rokka. “For instance, by sharing their experiences of the company and its products in social media.”

The full report is available for download, for a fee, here