Employee branding going overboard?

In their quest to differentiate and grab the best talent, I notice many MNCs and Indian IT organizations going overboard…

If you are an IT professional actively looking for a change and browse through any of the recent editions of Times Ascent (www.timesofindia.com) you will be hit by a sea of employee branding messages.

HCL calls its employees ‘Transformers’, Infosys highlights employees who have ‘been there, done that’, IBM goads you to ‘get on board’ while Convergys calls you to join the ‘Tribe’!

Most of these advertisement campaigns are multi-crore spinners which have online and print implications. While the bottomline of work offered remains the same, organizations try to differentiate themselves by talking of the work culture, the opportunities for growth, onsite possibilities and salaries.

Quite a war out there!

Soft selling a project….

I recently discovered an interesting way to soft-sell an upcoming project..after a detailed discussion on ‘how to launch a library’ I was casually asked by the internal client if we could feature a key contact from his team in the forthcoming newsletter! The request was to pitch her as working on this ‘new, exciting project’ and how she felt about working on it…!

Though the idea of soft spinning the launch did strike me as odd, especially when the project was premature in his cycle, I was impressed by the quick thinking…

Outsourcing and sensitivities in internal communications

I happened to have an interesting discussion with a manager recently who felt that we do a good job of communicating to our employees in India…but the India to US communication needed a face-lift.

He highlighted some very interesting points and I am listing them here.

1. How do we continue to set expectations on the US side on issues like bandhs and closures in India? The US expects things are in order and we can manage these crisises.

2. How can we communicate the scope of outsourcing? Does work coming to India mean jobs get cut in the US? Not necessarily. Well, the message that reaches the US is different.

3. Are we sentitive to key words which mean different things to outsourcing parties? For example, does ownership mean we ‘want the whole thing’? Or can we just say ‘partnership’?

4. Does a wide spectrum of work done by a manager in India mean the outsourcing counterpart is redundant?

5. Are we tackling attrition by leveraging the right channels and forums within the organization? For example, the internal job movement option is powerful to establish the organization’s openness to provide growth.

6. If Indian resources are training in the US, it could mean they are going to do work which others are losing? Are they aware and therefore sensitive? Does it reflect in their communication?

7. Are we saying the positive messages instead of talking of why outsourcing is an evil?

These were eye-openers for me…any thoughts?

How much of communication is too much?

We all like to cover all angles and provide all possible messages when we plan our programs. Quite often we are challenged to ‘shock and awe’ employees with all the options and hope that something if not all registers!

How many of us – internal communicators have really sat back and asked ourselves the basic question – how much is enough? Are there better ways in providing the same messages? Can we stagger the communication in a more fruitful manner?

For a recent organizational change communication, I noticed the team going for the kill before someone held back with these pointed questions. At that juncture, it seems that all that was planned was an overdose.

After a debate, we created an FAQs document, a web page and posted relevant change ( pre and current) structure for each understanding.