5 pitfalls to avoid when responding to rogue employees

With just about everyone carrying a smartphone, the risk of rogue employees creating a reputation crisis is quite high. As technology evolves, it will only get worse.

A few weeks ago, four employees of a Pikeville, Ky., Walmart thought it would be simply hilarious to seek out and destroy boxes of brand new iPads before they hit store shelves. One young man even tells the camera, “This is why you don’t buy an iPad from Walmart. See, we like to throw s***.”

The video came into the public eye via an anonymous submission to a Reddit user, who posted it on the site, where it quickly shot to the front page and drew thousands of comments.

Obviously, this is not a crisis management issue in the sense of the company’s doing something wrong, but there is reputation damage to Walmart, regardless of who’s to blame. If consumers were to latch onto the assumption that they’ll go home from Walmart with a broken iPad or other product, it could drive sales down.

Walmart left no opportunity for that; it immediately fired everyone involved and released this message, containing a nice dose of humanity, to news outlets including NBC:

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