SURVEY SAYS: Importance of Employer Reputation

We covered a survey that found 71% of U.S. workers say they would not apply to a company experiencing negative press; however, only 6% of workers have left a company due to negative press.

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Would you leave your company if it was experiencing negative press, and how important is your firm’s reputation to your job satisfaction?”

The majority (78.6%) of responding readers work in a plan sponsor role, 14.3% are TPAs/recordkeepers/investment managers, 3.6% are advisers/consultants and 3.6% are attorneys.

Only 3.4% of respondents said they would leave their company if it was experiencing negative press, while 17.2% said they would not and 79.3% said it depends on how bad the situation is.

Half indicated their company’s reputation is somewhat important to their job satisfaction, and 40% reported it is very important. Only 6.7% said their company’s reputation is not very important to their job satisfaction, and 3.3% indicated it is not at all important.

In verbatim comments, the major theme was that not all press can be believed. Some folks placed conditions on what kind of press would give them second thoughts about their jobs. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “Often, what the press says isn’t the full story.” 

A big thank you to all who participated in the survey!


Jobs are sometimes hard to come by so I wouldn't just outright quit, but I would begin a job search.

While I place a strong value on a company's reputation, I also have a strong skepticism about negative press and accusations. I've read stories with half-truths or outright lies on many different topics that are slanted to promote an agenda rather than having journalistic integrity. The press has a bad reputation, too.

An old boss of mine once wisely commented that when you lie down with dogs, you can expect to get fleas. That's true of all human relationships, customers, and yes - employers.

I would like to think it would be important for me to stay to help the company through a difficult situation. However, if the owners did something unethical, immoral or severely unsafe I would have a hard time staying.

You need to be diligent about understanding the facts and deciphering the press.

I hesitate to judge a company (or person) based on negative or even positive press. I've seen situations where the press has horribly misrepresented a situation so although anything I hear may be a piece of what forms my opinion, it would be the only piece.

Regardless of negative press or a change in company reputation, employees deserve to have their pension assets looked after. I'd be concerned, but unlikely to leave.

The reason for the negative press, and whether I agree with it or not, is critical in making the decision to stay or go.

It would depend upon why the negative press. The press is pretty good about bashing anyone and anything for next to nothing.

I thought all press was good press?

Verbatim (cont.)

Often, what the press says isn't the full story.

The decision to leave would depend on what the bad press was about. Was it because the company manipulated the market or was it because the CEO used their expense account for a shoe fetish while the company was going broke? I can handle the fetish thing but not market manipulation.

I've worked for big pharma and big retailing, both of which have received loads of negative publicity. As long as your job isn't directly involved in the negative publicity, you're usually fine.

An organization's reputation reflects the collective reputations of its employees.

It's important to work for an ethical company that I can feel proud of and recommend to others. Why spend such a large amount of your time working for a company you don't believe in?

This is an everyday struggle, because so many of my co-workers are idiots.

It depends on the nature of the situation. If it were illegal or nefarious activities and I knew that to be true, I would probably leave or already be gone by the time it hit the press. If I knew the allegations to be untrue, I would have to think about that.

Most problems can be fixed. Time heals. If it weren't negative, the press wouldn't report on it.

Long-term prospects of a bad reputation signal a change coming soon. Layoffs, sale, name change or the most unlikely the company does the right thing. All could impact employment, compensation and the next position.

Negative press is not always honest press. If I was working on I would know from an insider’s view if that press was true. I also may be the one who could change it if I felt it was wrong.


NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Strategic Insight or its affiliates.