Following a report based on leaked internal Google documents about plans to launch a censored version of the search engine in China, some Google employees are less than impressed. The project (code named Dragonfly in confidential documents) was started in the spring of 2017 and had been confidential within the company, save for a small portion of Google’s large, multinational workforce, until this week.
More than 3,100 Google employees have signed a letter asking the company to halt its work on a Defense Department initiative. While the letter has made headlines, it also raises an important question for professional communicators: How should a brand prepare for the possibility that part of its workforce has a political or moral objection to some of its activities?
What should brands do when an employee says something controversial and headlines result? Is the consequence immediate suspension? Should there be a warning first? What about issuing a public warning that not only puts the employee on notice but serves to inform all other staff? The examples of Shepard Smith and Bob Costas bring these questions to light.
The Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment story underscores a question faced by many corporate communications and HR pros: What steps should be taken to prevent that kind of behavior among top executives? It starts with education and a culture of accountability, as well as instilling a reporting structure that ensures employees won’t fear retribution.
Hershey is embracing employee advocacy programs as a way to pull back the curtain on life at the company, helping to improve recruitment, retention and reputation. The giant chocolatier has devoted an Instagram account (@HersheyCompany) to celebrate its employees, who in turn use the platform to celebrate the company. Here are some examples of successful posts, as well as four tips to keep in mind when crafting your own advocacy program.
Last year, I moved. That meant along with changes to my billing address, my favorite coffee shop and my go-to dog park, I also switched cable TV providers, sending me down a month-long rabbit hole of technician visits, troubleshooting phone calls and frustrations of every kind. The experience also resulted in the best PR I’ve ever received. It was due to just 1 employee who cared.
Sometimes it seems hopeless: Millennials on your team have different attitudes about work and rewards than you, the slightly older professional who manages them. What are these differences? Do gender and years on the job influence these attitudes? And likely you’re thinking about the bottom line: Can answering these questions help your communications team and the company you work for modify culture and processes to better nurture and retain millennial talent? Can you adopt best practices to appeal to millennials who’ll be entering the workforce in the future? The issues are far from academic: Millennials comprise 35% of today’s workforce, and are its largest generation. In addition, they’ll be leaders in PR and communications for the next three to four decades.
[Editor’s Note: Due to popular demand, Rebecca Haynes is back with us to provide gift ideas for the discriminating PR pro. And in accord with the findings of the PR News Pro Salary Survey, Rebecca has listed few gifts that cost more than $40.]
With any new job comes the chance to learn from more senior team members, but also comes the chance to teach a senior team member. Understand that when I use the word “teach,” it doesn’t mean that the new hire is coming into the position with more knowledge than you. What it means is that the new hire is arriving with potentially different knowledge than you already have.
[Editor’s Note: In honor of Veterans Day, we present this case study that combines honoring our nation’s veterans and boosting employee engagement.] It’s undeniable: An engaged workforce can move the needle in any industry. In retail, though, markets continually fluctuate, shopping trends change, economies contract and expand, and it’s the workforce that determines whether a company succeeds and makes a positive impact on the world.