Say What? Item 1: Who knew? The fact that you’re not sure whether you are loyal to Lady or the Trump influences how much Starbucks’ coffee you drink. It’s true. Starbucks got creative July 21 in explaining a sales-target miss, its third consecutive whiff. Starbucks’s officials said the quarter was an “anomaly,” owing to terror concerns around the world (sadly relevant), civil unrest (ditto) and political uncertainty in the U.S. (see, I told you—a presidential election reduces the American penchant for caffeinated libations).
Kmart employees believe the company is approaching bankruptcy and closing all its locations, despite comments indicating the opposite from its parent, Sears Holdings, Business Insider reported on July 23. After speaking to employees and reviewing an online message board that workers use to communicate with each other, Business Insider found that the recent implementation of “path to profitability” plans left many store-level employees fearing the worst.
Many internal communicators have an idea of how to define a remote worker, but a consistent definition often is hard to find. While some believe a remote employee is anyone who does not work at headquarters, this is not really the case. Those who work in a company building, owned or leased, remain highly connected to the brand. The ability of internal communicators to reach them is relatively easy. Remote employees typically are telecommuting from home, embedded at customer sites or working in remote parts of the country. Reaching these employees can be tricky. It certainly is not impossible. A few simple and inexpensive tips will help internal communicators reach them.
We live in a mobile world, so mobility is ubiquitous, right? Not so fast. While it’s true that many things are done via mobile apps, it’s not been the case with internal communications (IC). Even some top-flight technology companies are only just now introducing mobility to their intranets via smartphone apps in response to employee demand.
Pacific Northwest Laboratory comms-IT org chart (click link to view)
When you look closely at the things and people you’re surrounded by every day at work, do you get the sense that maybe you need to call shenanigans? Are all the portraits hanging in the company lobby of male leaders? Do your team members look and think an awful lot like you? When reviewing a candidate’s resume, do you make assumptions based on the person’s name or address?
Open communication between leadership and employees is integral to building employee trust, morale and engagement. Dry business language and performance metrics through company emails barely scratch the surface of who a leader actually is. More important, they do very little to make a company’s leaders relatable and connected to employees.
It’s increasingly becoming a reality in the communications world that once sequestered departments are now finding themselves working closely with colleagues they seldom encountered previously. For many, the breaking down of institutional borders between an organization’s various departments is a welcome trend. Even if a tumbling of silos has been a long time coming, the question of how to get all these different people with specialized functions working together efficiently isn’t any easier to answer.
In an April 27 interview with the Wall Street Journal, the Lego Group essentially blamed low-level employees for a crisis involving an artist’s request for a bulk order of its plastic blocks. Even if all this was the result of a misunderstanding by a customer service employee, is it good PR to focus on employee mistakes in the Wall Street Journal?
Once PR is crystal clear on the brand’s business goals, communication is next. Always communicate to the CEO using the business terminology the C-suite employs.