Human Resource Is the Most Important Asset of an Organization
Managing through uncertain times is a corporate fact of life. But recent events have widened the zone of uncertainty, as companies try to adapt to a shifting geopolitical agenda, continuing economic ambivalence and changing consumer preferences. Many companies are developing transitional business strategies to weather this volatile environment, by raising capital, restructuring, or consolidating or realigning their work force to remain competitive. Throughout any transition process, all stakeholders must be communicated to in a coherent, integrated manner so they understand how the change will impact them.
Customers, employees, investors and suppliers will not wait patiently on the sidelines while a company embarks on fundamental change. Corporate restructuring that involves the closing of facilities and significant layoffs, for example, impacts a variety of stakeholders. In addition to dealing compassionately with employees and negotiating with their unions, companies need to tell their story to investors, manage government or community issues, and reassure customers, suppliers and business partners.
Human Resource Is the Most Important Asset of an Organization Essay Example
Often, the stakeholder most overlooked during times of intense change is the most important asset a company has to help weather uncertainty – its employees. How well they are communicated to can help get their buy-in into management? s change strategy early on and ultimately, help to more effectively implement the change itself. Employee communications are vital at all times but uncertainty can create confusion about the strategic direction of the company and a lack of understanding as to why the company must make changes.
This underscores the need for open and honest two-way communication between management and employees. In today? s competitive environment, management needs the support and productivity of its entire employee group, not a workforce that is concerned about their job security or the future of the company. As a company prepares to undergo transition, senior management is well advised to seek communications counsel to develop an employee communications strategy, including consistent internal messaging and the appropriate vehicles to deliver those messages.
Consistent messaging delivered through vehicles that are appropriate and meaningful to employees can help align their performance with management? s organizational goals and help management communicate with compassion and conviction. The most important guiding principle of employee communication is to communicate with employees first. Whether the transition involves acquiring another company and increasing production or layoffs, they need to hear about changes directly from their management, not on the radio on their way in to work.
Establishing an open line of communication with employees before communicating with other stakeholders will enable management to provide employees with correct information about the changes to come, as well as a clear understanding of why transition is necessary and how it affects them. Moreover, communicating with employees first shows that management understands employees? needs and is compassionate toward their concerns. Equally essential is using a variety of communication vehicles to reach employees during all stages of the transition.
Leveraging existing internal communications vehicles such as newsletters, bulletin boards, intranet, voice mail and email are quick and well established channels of communication. Establishing an employee hotline to respond to questions and concerns can be a very effective means of keeping employees informed. In certain situations, face-to-face meetings are necessary to convey various aspects of the transition to employees. Employees must perceive that management is experiencing change right along with them and is willing to answer their questions and concerns in an open, honest manner.
Meeting with employees, either as a whole group or in smaller breakout sessions, allows management to communicate personally with employees and convey a sincere understanding of their concerns. In particularly difficult situations, such as major layoffs or significant organizational change, it may be necessary to communicate with employees? families through letters and information packages to demonstrate management? s commitment to making the transition as smooth as possible not only for employees, but for their families as well.
In the best of times, employees are key to any company? s productivity and success in an increasingly competitive market. During uncertain times, communicating with employees becomes crucial and management must have the support of employees to successfully implement change. Open and honest two-way employee communications can help lay the foundation for a smoother transition and pave the way for more effective communications in future.