Internal communications is an art and science. You can do monthly polls gauging employee satisfaction. You can hold birthday and anniversary celebrations. You can publish a company newsletter, a Facebook fan page and have an employee of the month program. But one thing you can’t do is tell your employees that they are going to be alright, that they have job security, that they should go ahead and buy that new house or car because a year from now, they’ll have had their salary increase (and their job). You can’t even tell yourself that. The feeling of job security and satisfaction comes from the everyday respect, recognition and empowerment that employees feel. And the feeling that they are helping their company dig out of the economic hole so many organizations find themselves in. So it was very satisfying to hear a CEO talk about employee communications during a keynote address at the SIIA conference in New York this week. Michael Hansen, head of Elsevier Health Sciences, has a healthy respect for internal communications and intellectual capital. He advised attendees to make sure they are laying the foundation to succeed in the recovery. Look no further than your employees and best customers. Your recovery, says Hansen, “will depend on the loyalty of customers and employees and how you treat them in down times.” He continued with advice on being bold and creating innovative products. All of which takes a workforce that feels they are treated like drivers in the recovery.
– Diane Schwartz