How To Avoid The Ugly Blame Game

By July 10, 2013 Business No Comments

The Ugly Blame Game - Will Rodriguez
Over the last couple of months I’ve observed some serious PR disasters related to negligence by an employee. In some cases, it resulted in customer backlash via social media; in others, tragic accidents cost people their lives. None of this is new but what I have noticed is a surge in companies playing the blame game.

In some instances companies have turned their backs on the employees ultimately responsible for the situation, simply for the sake of keeping a good face in front of the press. I personally despise companies that tout their team culture until something tragic happens, and then it’s off to blame the individual. It looks ugly from a public relations standpoint and even more-so, morally wrong.

Have we forgotten about the system of accountability? Create a strategy to avoid the ugly blame game.

  • Employee hierarchy trees are a great way to always know who is in charge of whom and what.
  • More important than the title – identifying and documenting in detail every employee’s responsibilities will ensure everyone understands what they are liable for.
  • Meetings should have an agenda and focus around updates and ideas. Try not to get too carried away on the minor details. That’s what followups are for.
  • An open line of communication is key. Employees should feel empowered to report anything they deem questionable. Acknowledge and reward them for their discoveries!
  • When mistakes happen, find appropriate measures of discipline but avoid publicizing those responsible.

For larger organizations with a more prominent presence, public relation teams should utilize a strategy that:

  • Acknowledges the mistake from a company-wide standpoint
  • Acts quickly and diligently to take care of those affected
  • Identifies the lessons learned via a company wide newsletter, press release, company blog posting, etc.
  • And protect the employees responsible from unintended exposure.

A team that wins together, falls together. While the media, and society, will always strive to find someone to point the finger at – we have to remember that it takes more than one person to fly an airplane, a train to operate and a government to function.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.