Recession Proof Corporate Communication Staying ahead of the downturn Aniisu K Verghese April 21, 2009
Disclaimer   <ul><li>Due care has been taken while preparing this presentation but the author cannot be held responsible f...
Introduction <ul><li>Currently work as India Internal Communication Lead at a global services firm </li></ul><ul><li>Worke...
Agenda <ul><li>Recession and ‘Recession Proofing’ - what it means to leadership and organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Trends...
<ul><li>&quot;IN GOOD TIMES, EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING GOOD AND BEING GREAT. IN BAD TIMES, IT'S ...
Recession means…revisiting Maslow’s Hierarchy <ul><li>“ The economic crisis gives organizations an opportunity to examine ...
Recession Proofing means…. <ul><li>‘ Recession proofing’ involves reducing uncertainty, improving confidence and focusing ...
All is not lost… Nano: 300,000 customers visited showrooms in the first ten days since the small car was launched.  Did yo...
What’s on their minds?
<ul><li>“ Only 43 percent of employees said their  companies effectively managed business changes , and organizations that...
Trends we see <ul><li>Corporate communication/support function jobs cut </li></ul><ul><li>Reduction in spend (communicatio...
Mistakes organizations  make <ul><li>“ Cost cutting = reducing staff, removing benefits, eliminating toilet paper!” </li><...
Best Practices <ul><li>50 HP executives logon to blogs each day to join conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Ernst & Young recr...
Tap the wisdom of your employees - Crowdsourcing The value of social media is proportional to the rate of participation ww...
Connect with communities New media technologies can build communities and increase discussion Trends: Niche Networks (dogs...
The Power in Your Hands <ul><li>New media technologies puts broadcasting in your hands </li></ul><ul><li>Provide messages ...
Enhance Collaboration  Can you collaborate  effectively across teams on the Web? IBM  created a wiki to help employees dev...
Be Aware…. <ul><li>Of the Risks involved….. </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy </li></ul><ul><li>E-Crime </li></ul><ul><li>Exposing...
5 Ideas That You Can Use <ul><li> ‘ More with Less’ Strategy  </li></ul><ul><li>  Zero based budgets </li></ul><ul><li>  M...
Summary <ul><li>Downturns may not last, but organizations that communicate effectively will. </li></ul><ul><li>Leverage si...
References <ul><li>http://gmj.gallup.com/content/115213/Building-Engagement-Economic-Crisis.aspx </li></ul><ul><li>http://...
Contact <ul><li>Aniisu K. Verghese </li></ul><ul><li>Blog:  www.intraskope.wordpress.com </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail:  [email...
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Recession proof communication final.ppt

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I recently had the opportunity to address a group of leaders from a leading IT services provider. Here are thoughts shared with them on recession proofing communication during a downturn and the role of leaders.

During a recession, organizations make knee jerk reactions based on how they see the markets panning out which can be detrimental to employee morale and customer engagement. Organizations go after support functions and resize and reduce budgets, freeze benefits, curtail training and avoid engaging with employees. Very often, in their quest to get ‘leaner’ and ‘sharper’, organizations lose the ‘human’ touch’. Employees have good memories and these actions are always held against the business. I am aware of organizations cutting down on something as basic as toilet paper but allowing off sites at external venues to continue. Not surprisingly, trust is eroding for senior leadership (according to Edelman’s Trust Barometer) and organizational communication tools.
To summarize, the global downturn has posed numerous challenges for organizations and employees alike. That said, downturns may not last, but organizations that communicate effectively will. It is important to focus on the positives, craft consistent messages, reinforce often, communicate directly and focus on the positives while involving employees.

Last but not least, it is vital for organizations to revisit the core of their existence and the core values that will sustain them in the long run.

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  • During the recent merger of Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, a town hall meeting planned for employees of the newly merged organisations had been cancelled because of cost saving measures (Hood, 2009) .
  • Piggy back on internal channels Use every opportunity to share messages: office updates, information security Centralize communication efforts Not every communication requires a budget Empower managers to cascade information, engage in face to face communication Create ready-to-use communication packages/templates (time saved is money gained) Leverage ‘influencers’ in your organization Case: Nokia: sought ideas from employees on saving costs and improving profits
  • Recession proof communication final.ppt

    1. 1. Recession Proof Corporate Communication Staying ahead of the downturn Aniisu K Verghese April 21, 2009
    2. 2. Disclaimer <ul><li>Due care has been taken while preparing this presentation but the author cannot be held responsible for any misuse or misrepresentation of information. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the author. Data for this presentation has been drawn from various sources and is gratefully acknowledged. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Currently work as India Internal Communication Lead at a global services firm </li></ul><ul><li>Worked with Accenture, i-flex, Leo Burnett </li></ul><ul><li>Write for management publications </li></ul><ul><li>Interests – workshops, founded road safety NGO – Friends For Life, graphology, tennis, meditation, traveling </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: www.intraskope.wordpress.com </li></ul><ul><li>Road Safety: http://civic.websitewelcome.com/~fflonlin/anishhome.htm </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: www.roadsense.wordpress.com </li></ul>
    4. 4. Agenda <ul><li>Recession and ‘Recession Proofing’ - what it means to leadership and organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Trends </li></ul><ul><li>Mistake organizations make </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas to be ‘Recession Proof’ </li></ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
    5. 5.
    6. 6.
    7. 7. <ul><li>&quot;IN GOOD TIMES, EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING GOOD AND BEING GREAT. IN BAD TIMES, IT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SURVIVING AND NOT. IN GOOD TIMES AND BAD, LOW ENGAGEMENT REDUCES PERFORMANCE AND PROFIT AND UNDER THE CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES, MANY COMPANIES CAN'T AFFORD TO LET THOSE DROP” </li></ul><ul><li>- JAMES K. HARTER, PH.D., GALLUP'S CHIEF SCIENTIST OF WORKPLACE MANAGEMENT AND WELL-BEING AND COAUTHOR OF 12: THE ELEMENTS OF GREAT MANAGING. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Recession means…revisiting Maslow’s Hierarchy <ul><li>“ The economic crisis gives organizations an opportunity to examine every aspect of their business model and lay the foundation for sustainable growth and improved competitive advantage.” - Timothy P. Flynn, Chairman, KPMG International. </li></ul>“ More than 93 percent of employees are ready to hear the truth about the future of their company, pay, benefits and job .” (Study by Towers Perrin)
    9. 9. Recession Proofing means…. <ul><li>‘ Recession proofing’ involves reducing uncertainty, improving confidence and focusing on outcomes. </li></ul><ul><li>It also means supporting the organization stay on course to be successful. </li></ul><ul><li>It is in about reinforcing the mission and values even more. </li></ul><ul><li>Involving and keeping the employee at the forefront of all your communication </li></ul>
    10. 10. All is not lost… Nano: 300,000 customers visited showrooms in the first ten days since the small car was launched. Did you know that General Motors' sales in China continue to grow? That India is contributing $11 billion to the International Monetary Fund?
    11. 11.
    12. 12. What’s on their minds?
    13. 13. <ul><li>“ Only 43 percent of employees said their companies effectively managed business changes , and organizations that managed change poorly had a - 5 percent return on shareholder value over a three-year period” </li></ul><ul><li>(Survey by Watson Wyatt) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Companies with engaged employees grow earnings 2.6 times faster than those who don’t” </li></ul><ul><li>(Source: Gallup Poll) </li></ul>
    14. 14. Trends we see <ul><li>Corporate communication/support function jobs cut </li></ul><ul><li>Reduction in spend (communication, travel etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Zero investment in training </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging employees becoming secondary </li></ul><ul><li>Trust eroding among organizational communication channels </li></ul>“ people tend to trust their peers more than authority figures .” 2006 Edelman Trust Barometer
    15. 15. Mistakes organizations make <ul><li>“ Cost cutting = reducing staff, removing benefits, eliminating toilet paper!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Downturn is a time for scrutiny and waste management” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Staff can always be re-hired” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Communicate less” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Don’t spend on engaging employees – they are pampered” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Stop building your brand – now is the time to save money” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Leadership offsites are fine” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Let us not share all information – we may be viewed as weak” </li></ul>
    16. 16. Best Practices <ul><li>50 HP executives logon to blogs each day to join conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Ernst & Young recruits 3500 college grads using a Facebook career group </li></ul><ul><li>UAE ruler launches connection with people www.Uaepm.ae </li></ul><ul><li>The Vatican is on YouTube! </li></ul><ul><li>Accenture: peer review: Brand Hotline of collateral </li></ul><ul><li>UBS: emergency 24 hour communication review, top 50 leaders meet one person each a day </li></ul><ul><li>GE: Jeff Immelt addresses employees via interactive media </li></ul><ul><li>Ford: Chief Blogger Scott Monty uses Twitter and other Web 2.0 tools to communicate </li></ul><ul><li>Bank of America integrated external PR with news flash on intranet so that employees to get to hear it first </li></ul>
    17. 17. Tap the wisdom of your employees - Crowdsourcing The value of social media is proportional to the rate of participation www.threadless – sells t-shirts designed and voted by people Others: InnoCentive – R&D for pharma Galaxy Zoo – users classify million galaxies Emporis – building data with users RYZ – creates shoes using designs from users
    18. 18. Connect with communities New media technologies can build communities and increase discussion Trends: Niche Networks (dogster.com/ dopplr.com) Customize your network (ning.com/onesite.com Reputation Management Wink.com/reputa.com Aggregators Ex.plode.us/profilefly.com Second Life www.secondlife.com Coca Cola and others are engaging Second Life residents
    19. 19. The Power in Your Hands <ul><li>New media technologies puts broadcasting in your hands </li></ul><ul><li>Provide messages </li></ul><ul><li>Share videos for viral marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Can your employee engagement video go on YouTube? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you share your quarter leadership meet/hiring event photos? </li></ul>
    20. 20. Enhance Collaboration Can you collaborate effectively across teams on the Web? IBM created a wiki to help employees develop their own blogging policy P&G Goal for 2010: source 50% of new product & service ideas From outside the company Has opened patents to the world PBwiki.com
    21. 21. Be Aware…. <ul><li>Of the Risks involved….. </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy </li></ul><ul><li>E-Crime </li></ul><ul><li>Exposing internal systems </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate espionage </li></ul><ul><li>When things go wrong </li></ul><ul><li>BMW sacking session goes live on You Tube </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UwVRSGEI-w </li></ul>
    22. 22. 5 Ideas That You Can Use <ul><li> ‘ More with Less’ Strategy </li></ul><ul><li> Zero based budgets </li></ul><ul><li> Measure all that you communicate/do </li></ul><ul><li> Involve your people </li></ul><ul><li> Focus on the positives </li></ul>“ Consistent communication key among best employers” Outlook Business – Hewitt Associates study - 2009
    23. 23. Summary <ul><li>Downturns may not last, but organizations that communicate effectively will. </li></ul><ul><li>Leverage simple ideas and Social Media tools to keep your communication recession proof </li></ul><ul><li>Craft consistent messages, reinforce often </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate directly, all, first and fast </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the positives – involve employees to achieve success together </li></ul><ul><li>Values will sustain in the long run </li></ul>
    24. 24. References <ul><li>http://gmj.gallup.com/content/115213/Building-Engagement-Economic-Crisis.aspx </li></ul><ul><li>http://businesstoday.intoday.in/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10257 </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.hewittassociates.com/Intl/AP/en-IN/AboutHewitt/Newsroom/PressReleaseDetail.aspx?cid=6359 </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia.org </li></ul><ul><li>www.ragan.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.melcrum.com </li></ul><ul><li>http:// gmj.gallup.com/content/27799/Investors-Take-Note-Engagement-Boosts-Earnings.aspx </li></ul>
    25. 25. Contact <ul><li>Aniisu K. Verghese </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: www.intraskope.wordpress.com </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/aniisu </li></ul>

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