Thursday, April 07, 2016
A company under pressure has enough of a hard time. A company whose employees are mouthing off in social media about its impending demise has a PR crisis. That is the situation facing Nest, the smart thermostat business. An engineer or someone posing as one, has written a scathing commentary on the future of the company and is claiming it is on a deathwatch. Of course, everyone inside Nest has read the message by now as well as tens of thousands outside the company, including competitors. It is up to Nest to respond -- and quickly -- before the negative spin gets out of hand. The longer the statement remains uncontested, the more people will come to believe that something is wrong internally and the "engineer's" words will ring true. The company can't stop employees from commenting anonymously, but it can be more transparent about its business and appeal to employees to stick together. If it is facing tough times, it ought to say so and provide its plan for weathering the storm. Silence is deadly.