The “Glassdoor effect” is the phenomenon in which employees share candid, possibly unflattering stories about current or former bosses and places of employment. It was named for the website Glassdoor, among the most prominent sites allowing anonymous employee reviews (if not the only one).

A recent white paper from Navex Global says this phenomenon will take on increasing importance in an age where employees are speaking out against sexual harassment, especially in Hollywood, media and political circles. For those reasons, David Banks, the senior content marketing manager at Navex, thought it was pertinent to add “The Glassdoor Effect” to Navex’s report, the “2018 Top 10 Ethics & Compliance Predictions & Recommendations.” (Sexual harassment, cybersecurity, disaster response and the role of whistle-blowers were among the other ethics topics added to the list.)

In the white paper, Banks mentions the case of a company that was sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for supposedly firing an employee who left an unpleasant comment on Glassdoor. The lawsuit picked up attention from the media and surely left a trail of articles for customers and prospective employees to stumble upon when they Googled the company.

Instead of focusing on the negative publicity, Banks wanted to know why employees felt the need to sound off on platforms outside their companies.

“What we’re seeing is that employees are not reporting outside their organizations just because they fear retaliation,” he writes. “They may now be reporting externally because they receive more immediate affirmation. This is a unique challenge compliance programs will have to navigate.”

It’s also important because possible customers of a company may feel they can trust an angry ex-employee online more than a company CEO or press release.

Banks refers to a report by communications marketing firm Edelman in which survey respondents chose company employees as the most trusted source on topics such as the treatment of employees and customers; operational performance; business practices and crisis handling; innovative efforts; and programs to address societal issues.

Banks suggests in the white paper that companies turn to investigating and fixing the actual problems instead of limiting their employees’ social media use. Social media is now well integrated into society and will probably become a bigger part of everyday life. So deleting a comment or an account on one platform won’t stop the publicity from continuing on others.

He went on to further suggest that companies showcase their core values through goodwill, strengthen anti-retaliation policies so employees can feel comfortable addressing issues internally and implement similar support points around issues that social media is able to provide its users.