Transport strike – opportunities for internal communicators?


Bangalore faces another indefinite transport strike – for those unfamilar, transport vendors are resisting a mandatory speed governor introduction which will reduce accidents and speeding vehicles on the already overcrowded roads.

With most IT and other organizations dependent on transport vendors to shuttle their employees to work, this creates a sticky situation. The ‘business as usual’ message seems tough to believe especially when a large percentage of employees in most of these organizations depend on the cabs to pick and drop them to work and home from designated points.

Some organizations have opted for car pooling, arranging for overnight stays at the offices among other innovative ways to work around the issue.

 For internal communicators, this is according to me, an opportunity to manage the message, a difficult one. The difference between ‘good’ and ‘great’ organizations will be perceived in the tone and timing of the communication along with the ‘walk the talk’ by the leadership.

‘Find your own transport’ as compared to ‘here are three alternate arrangements’ will make employee decide if the organization they work for truly invests in their welfare or spews plain rhetoric. Involving employees in resolving the crisis – for example, opening out a suggestion box for ideas to overcome this scneario puts power in their hands. The chances of better co-operation is higher as well.

The leadership car pooling along with employees can also send signals of their connection and true intentions. The question is, how many will take the lead? Can internal communicators cover a story on a relevant case?

Have a better suggestion in communicating effectively in such scenarios? Write in…will love to hear from you.

Challenges internal communicators face while educating stakeholders


During the course of my career, I have found that helping stakeholders understand the role communicators play stands foremost among the obstacles in communicating an idea.

 

Most often clients are unaware of the effort and process involved in translating a brief into a creative approach.

 

With communication considered subjective to a point – everyone does have an opinion on the colors, the tone of voice, the communication pitch and usage of imagery; I feel there is a scope for internal communicators to assert their competency and expert viewpoint.

 

Though this confidence comes with time and practice, clearly defining the role of the stakeholder in a review process enables a healthier discussion. For example, while debriefing the client on the background and strategic intent, it may make sense to invite their views on messages communicated, any business sensitivities and cultural innuendoes which may exist in the creative. This provides a narrower window for the client to reflect upon and opens up opportunities to have a purposeful discussion.