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Communicating in a Crisis

Comms covers everything of import to the business and to the staff; HR issues; new policies; working arrangements; performance goals; objectives; everything.

[ Did you read my last piece on Review Cycles and Approvals ]

What could be more important that those HR issues that effect staffing levels? Or worse, those business issues that effect the very size and shape of the organisation?

When an organisation ‘re-structures’ as is fashionable to do every third afternoon these days, then the business managers need to communicate the meaning and ramifications of the re-structuring.

Clear objectives should be laid out, and sensitivity should be employed when dealing with down-sizing / right-sizing / bright-sizing and resulting redundancies.

Head-count reductions should be communicated in a timely manner; this does not mean as soon as the Exec have an idea to cost-cut, but rather, when the business has a real idea of just what is going to happen.

Communications about redundancies should reduce fear and give clear direction, they should not add to the anxiety and instability such re-structuring causes.

I sound pretty serious today don’t I? Well it’s a serious matter; when a crisis hits a company, people ask ‘How will this effect me?’ and they deserve a timely honest answer.

Note: ‘Bright-sizing’ comes from the awful term ‘right-sizing’; Right-sizing is when an organisation reduces its footprint, it’s operational size, to better fit its market and current ££ situation.

Bright-sizing is when an organisation offers Voluntary Redundancy ££ packages, and all the ‘bright’ people grab it and abandon the sinking ship, leaving only the dim-witted, less confident people behind.

I guess that means me, seeing as I’ve never dared take redundancy! You know what they say, the fastest way to a pay rise is to join another company and do your job for them! Either that or, leave your company but return as a highly paid Consultant!

About Wedge

I’m Wedge, and this is my website! I’ve worked within internal communications since 2004, managing intranets and digital comms. Now I’m a freelance comms and intranet specialist - I help organisations plan and improve their intranets. I work with other agencies, and write a lot of blog and magazine articles. I founded the Intranet Now conference. You can catch up with me on Twitter - I’m @Wedge.