With a cooling labor market and shrinking budgets, many organizations currently may be de-prioritizing or cutting back on commitments to societal issues, along with benefits and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. But even quiet decisions to roll back policies can trigger internal and external backlash, especially if employees take to social media or employee-review sites to publicize unpopular decisions. Policies that used to be the narrow concern of people leaders and human-resources teams are now fodder for headlines, advocacy campaigns, and social media debates.

The goal of this guide is not to encourage superficial lip-service or calculating PR-driven approaches to doing the right thing, but rather to help employers accrue the reputational benefits for the positive things they do for employees and minimize unwarranted reputational hits. Our belief is that workplaces where employees thrive are positive for a business's performance and its external reputation, and the following guidance is meant as a crash course in connecting internal policies to larger narratives about how organizations’ investments benefit its workforce, consumer base, and partners.

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