If the Royal Commission into Financial Services is anything to go by, Australian aged care providers are about to be put through the wringer. The terms of reference of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety are broad-ranging, and promise to look at issues ranging from quality of care to delivery, accessibility and – importantly – customer-centricity.

Providers are rightly concerned about the potential reputational risks that come with such an inquiry. As the financial services sector has experienced, to some extent it doesn’t matter whether your organisation has done the wrong thing or not. If enough stories of misconduct are raised, the whole industry is tarred with the same brush.

But there are proactive steps that can be taken right now to manage the narrative, reassure customers and prospective customers, and maintain the right culture within your organisation.

1. Reassure your staff

The life of a carer is not exactly glamourous. Carers look after elderly people at their most vulnerable, when their physical and mental health is deteriorating, and in many cases, when the person being cared for is resistant to the care, or at least is frustrated at the situation in which they find themselves.

To the majority of carers who are doing the right thing by those for whom they care, a Royal Commission is like a slap in the face. The impact on morale and sense of value should not be underestimated.

It’s important to reassure your staff that they are valued and manage the internal narrative inside the organisation about what a commission is and isn’t.