Corporate communications from the other side (Editorial)

By John Hobel
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/31/2005

Communicating with employees is no easy task. Senior leaders are sensitive to how messages are crafted while employees are wary of spin doctoring. HR professionals responsible for communications can find themselves treading a fine line between corporate considerations and the truth.

During two decades as a journalist I’ve had a ringside seat to witness the good and bad of communications. What some executives consider a “good” communications policy is often the opposite. Cleverly shrouding facts and avoiding the issue at hand rarely achieves desired results.

Employees reading a memo that uses “restructuring” and “staffing adjustments” will soon clue into the fact that “layoffs” are underway. And when they see corporate communicators using the same tactics in external communications, they are aware the organization is avoiding telling it like it is. Whether the spin is for an internal or external audience, the hit on executive credibility is the same.