Will women every triumph?

Todd Akin, Republican Senate nominee and member of the House Science, Space and Technology committee, said pregnancy from rape was “really rare” because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Check this page http://jezebel.com/5936160/the-official-guide-to-legitimate-rape?fb_action_ids=10151140486590854&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=246965925417366

Listen or I’ll leave!

This is not a line from a lover’s quarrel it is a reflection of the corporate conversations that occur daily. Talented employees often leave organizations because they do not feel valued. They feel that they are being taken for granted and their opinions are not considered. This view is supported by research done by the US based Corporate Leadership Council which reports that 67 percent of employees who intend to leave their organizations feel that they are not valued. Listening or not being heard is one of the key indicators.

When employees feel they are not being valued they vote with their feet. Unfortunately the pattern is repeated in the next organization because corporate communications is generally low on the list of priorities and listening is not a core value.

Some organizations believe that producing a glossy newsletter means that they are communicating effectively. This is such a misguided notion. An analysis of these newsletters often reveals an absence of clear objectives resulting in a publication which reflects the viewpoint of management with little regard for what the employees think or say.

Corporate communications must be at the forefront of the move to ensure a strategic, holistic approach to having meaningful corporate conversations throughout the organization. The cornerstone of effective corporate communications is a system which ensures feedback.

It is no understatement that people feel valued when they believe others are listening. When they perceive that the organization is not listening they experience a significant “disconnect” and leave.

Technology provides us with the opportunity to take a multi disciplinary approach to employee communications.

Maybe the oldest and most abused instrument is the employee survey. Before undertaking a survey you must know what will be done with the results. If the end use is not in the proposal then the survey may be ill advised. Too often organizations conduct employee communications surveys or audits and end at the data gathering stage. This is a recipe to develop cynicism. Employees need to know the results of surveys and subsequently need to be part of the implementation. Well structured surveys can give management excellent insight into the real issues from the perspective of employees and provide the framework for continuing healthy dialogue.

If the survey provides a snapshot of views at a point in time, then ongoing feedback mechanisms provide real time responses to actions taken by management. This means that management can be nimble and responsive based on instant employee feedback.

By definition, management is aware of changes which are on the way long before they are communicated to employees. The announcement is therefore often couched in terms which appear to be cold, uncaring and autocratic. Changing the style of the announcement can work wonders for the receivers of the information.

A common example of a quick feed back system is the use of voice mail. The down side of this is the fact that originating numbers can be traced. This however is not an insurmountable problem.

Another way of obtaining feedback is to encourage written responses. The key is that the organization must act on the reponses or talented people will leave.

Ongoing feedback narrows the gap between what management feels is in the hearts and minds of employees and what is actually in their hearts and minds.

As a final strategy, exit and post exit interviews provide information which would be otherwise lost to the organization. As an additional benefit, this also provides an opportunity to enhance the corporate memory of the organization. When employees leave, they carry with them informal information which can prevent organizations re-inventing the wheel.

To capture the data, the methodology and approach must be consistent. It is not a task to be carried out simply to satisfy a requirement. It might therefore be appropriate to engage a third party from outside of the organization to conduct these interviews.

Linking these tactics to the overall communications strategy means taking action and where this is impossible providing employees with suitable explanations. If this sounds like a lot of work, then rightly so because improving corporate communications has the potential to retain talented employees and positively impact the bottom line.

Organizations intent on maintaining their competitive advantage must ensure that listening becomes a core value.

One caveat, listening without action is merely passing time, listening with action is ensuring organizational survival. Nobody actually says “Listen or I’ll leave” they just leave and that’s expensive.

By Dennise Demming – Public Relations and Training Consultant

Senator Tewarie and Minister Warner in separate situations finger the Media!

Senator Tewarie in a live television interview commented that the Media has not played its role in promoting the 50th anniversary celebrations … Minister Warner accused the Media of sensationalizing their reporting of crime. Meanwhile a spontaneous protest erupts against the alleged gunning down of a citizen by the police and government representatives repossess the instruments used by Divine Echoes Band. All of this within 24 hours. As a communicator, these scenarios are worrisome and require deep analysis. Both government and citizens appear to be seething with anger and embarrassment. In the midst of all of this, hundreds of families in the North West Disaster area are hurting as they try to regain some semblance of normalcy from the mud and sludge left by flood waters.

This is not the time for the Government to draw swords with the Media. Despite money, control and power, Journalist have more ink and paper at their disposal. Maybe this is an opportunity for the Government to pause and reflect on the needs of the hundreds of thousands of citizens who gave them the mandate to lead this country to a better place. Their will be no winner in a fight with the Media.

A Minister cannot expect the Media to promote his agenda prior to the activities.  I expect that there will be full coverage of the news worthy activities once they are staged.  Minister Warner thinks he can be cunning with the media but this is short lived strategy.  My confidence is that the Media will play its role and communicate in a manner that is balanced and fair to the population.

Public Holiday … Happy … Sad … Vex or just STEUPS

Couldn’t we have planned this public holiday thing? I understand the need to celebrate achievement but planning is key. We have managed to celebrate the outcome of careful planning by NOT planning. As a business owner, my day was planned complete with deadlines etc and just so! … everything is down the drain. Some feeble brained bureaucrat did not think this through. How could we declare a disaster area in one part of the island and a public holiday simultaneously?

What are businesses supposed to do? The disaster areas have been waiting since Saturday for full service Hardware supplies to open their doors.