11. Employee Relations - Al Akhawayn M.Ibahrine/IBAHRINE_14_ Employee Relations.11. Employee...

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  • 11. Employee RelationsLecture by Dr. Mohammed Ibahrine

    based on Seitels The Practice of Public Relations

    AL AKHAWAYN UNIVERSITYSCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

    COMMUNICATIONS STUDIES

  • 30/10/2006 2

    Structure of the Lecture

    1 Strong Employee Relations = Solid Companies

    2 dealing with the employee Public

    3 Communicating Effectively in a Sea of Doubt

    4 Credibility

    5 Employee Communication Strategies

    6 Employee Communication Tactics

  • 30/10/2006 3

    Structure of the Lecture

    6 Employee Communication Tactics6.1 Internal Communications Audits6.2 Online Communications6.3 The Intranet6.4 Print Publication 6.5 Desktop Publishing6.6 Employee Annual Reports6.7 Bulletin Boards6.8 Suggestion Box/Town Hall Meetings6.9 Internal Video6.10 Face-to-face Supervisory Communications

    7 Dealing with the Grapevine

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    1 Employee Relations

    According to Fortune magazine, the top 200 most admired corporations in America spent a significantly larger share of their communications budgets more than 50 percent - on employee relations

  • 30/10/2006 5

    1 Employee Relations

    For a variety of reason communicating with employees has become increasingly important for organizations in the new millennium

    1. The wave of downsizings and layoffs that dominated business and industry worldwide after the high-tech-bubble burst in the early years of the 21st century

    2. The widening gulf between the pay of senior officers and common workers is another reason why organizations must be sensitive to employee communications

  • 30/10/2006 6

    1 Employee Relations

    3. There is no such thing as lifetime employmentThe notion of job stability has disappearedMost employees no longer expect cradle-to-grave employmentThe name of the game today is job mobilityConsequently, employee trust was at an all-time low

    4. The merger of geographically dispersed organizations is another reason why for increased focus on internal communication

  • 30/10/2006 7

    1 Employee Relations

    Business managers have realized that the assets of their companies exist very much in the heads of their employees

    Employee communication, then, has become a key way and transfer that intellectual capital among workers

    Internal communication has become a hot ticket in public relations

  • 30/10/2006 8

    2 Dealing with Employee Publics

    Just as there is no such thing as the general public, there is also no single employee public

    The employee public is made up of numerous subgroups:

    Senior managersFirst-line supervisors Staff and line employeesWomen MinorityUnion laborersPer diem employees Contract workers

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    2 Dealing with Employee Publics

    A smart organization will try to differentiate messages and communications to reach these segments

    Today, the staff is YoungerIncreasingly femaleMore ambitiousCareer orientedLess complacent Less loyal to the company

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    2 Dealing with Employee Publics

    Internal communications, like external messages, must be targeted to reach specific subgroups of the employee public

    Organizing effective, believable and persuasive internal communication in the midst of organizational change is a core critical public relations responsibility in the 21st century

  • 30/10/2006 11

    3 Communicating Effectively in a sea of Doubt

    An organization truly concerned about getting through to its employees in an era of downsizing and displacement, must reinforce five specific principles:

    1. Respect 2. Honest feedback 3. Recognition 4. A voice 5. Encouragement

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    3 Communicating Effectively in a sea of Doubt

    1. Respect: Employees must be respected for their worth as individuals and their value as workers

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    3 Communicating Effectively in a sea of Doubt

    2. Honest feedback: By talking to workers about their strengths and weakness, employees know where they stand

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    3 Communicating Effectively in a sea of Doubt

    3. Recognition: Employees feel successful when management recognizes their contributions

    It is the duty of the public relations professional to suggest mechanisms by which deserving employees will be honored

  • 30/10/2006 15

    3 Communicating Effectively in a sea of Doubt

    4. A voice: employees want their ideas to be heard and to have a voice in decision making

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    3 Communicating Effectively in a sea of Doubt

    5. Encouragement: benefits and money motivate employees up to point, but that something else is generally necessary

    This something else is encouragement

  • 30/10/2006 17

    3 Communicating Effectively in a sea of Doubt

    According to Milton Moskowitz, coauthor of The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America, six criteria are important:

    1. Willingness to express dissent. Employees want to be able to feed back to management their opinions and even dissent

    2. Visibility and proximity of upper management. Enlightened companies try to level rank distinctions, eliminating such status reminders as executives cafeteriasThey act against hierarchical separation

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    3 Communicating Effectively in a sea of Doubt

    3. Priority of internal o external communication. Employees want to be able to feed back to management their opinions and even dissent

    4. Attention to clarity. Good companies will write benefits booklets with clarity to be readable for a general audience rather than for human resources specialist

    5. Friendly tone. Best companies give a sense of family in all that they communicate

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    3 Communicating Effectively in a sea of Doubt

    6. Sense of humor. People are principally worried about keeping their jobs

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    4 Credibility

    The task for management is to convince employees that it communicates with them in a truthful, frank and direct manner

    This is the overriding challenge that confronts todays internal communicators

    What internal communications comes down to is credibility

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    4 Credibility

    The employee public is a savvy one

    The management must be truthful

    The employees want management

    Research indicates that trust in organizations would increase if management

    Communicated earlier and more frequently

  • 30/10/2006 22

    5 Employee Communication Strategies

    Enhancing credibility, being candid, and winning trust must be the primary employee communications objectives in the new century Five elements are key in any strategic program

    1. Survey employees attitudes regularly. Internal communications audits and attitudes surveys can identify problems before they become crises

    2. Be consistent. Management that promises open and honest communications must practice it

    An open door must remain open not just partly open part of the time

  • 30/10/2006 23

    5 Employee Communication Strategies

    3. Personalize communication. Workers want personal attention from those for whom they work, particularly their immediate supervisor. The best internal communications are those are personal and face-to-face

    4. Be candid. Employee today are younger, less well educated, less loyal

    5. Be innovative. New employees in the workforce and increase skepticism in the workplace demand new communications technology solutions (voice, video, data transmission on PCs and so on)

  • 30/10/2006 24

    6 Employee Communications Tactics

    Once objectives are set, a variety of techniques can be adopted to reach the staff

    The initial tool again is research

    Before any communications program can be implemented, communicators must have a good sense of staff attitudes

  • 30/10/2006 25

    6 Employee Communications Tactics

    6.1 Internal Communications Audits6.1 Internal Communications Audits

    The internal communications audit is the most beneficial form of research on which to lay the groundwork for effective employee communications

    This starts with personal, in-depth interviews with both top management and communicators

    It is important to find out what communicators thinkmanagement wants

  • 30/10/2006 26

    6 Employee Communications Tactics

    6.1 Internal Communications Audits6.1 Internal Communications AuditsThe three critical audit questions are:

    1. How do internal communications support the mission of the organization?

    2. Do internal communications have managements support?

    3. How responsive to employee needs and concerns are internal?

  • 30/10/2006 27

    6 Employee Communications Tactics

    6.2 Online Communications6.2 Online CommunicationsThe age of online communications has ushered in a whole new set of employee communications vehicles:

    E-mail

    Voice

    Tailored organizational intranets

    Tailored online newsletters

  • 30/10/2006 28

    6 Employee Communications Tactics

    6.4 The Intranet 6.4 The Intranet The Intranet has overtaken print communication

    Intranet creators should keep in mind several important considerations

    Consider the culture Set clear objectives and then let it evolveTreat it as a journalistic enterpriseMarket, market and marketSenior management must commit

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    6 Employee Communications Tactics

    6.5 Print Publications6.5 Print PublicationsThe advent of online internal communication has been hard on print publicatio