Newly hired employees returning to the workplace in 2010 will be among the most enthusiastic. How can employers tap into their optimism and zeal?
Many of these new workers have previously been downsized, and they may be struggling to regain their self-worth. Enabling them to share their stories and skills will address this issue — and will benefit the company to boot.
For their part, employers who had been forced to shed jobs might just experience a contact high from this rush of enthusiasm. They will soon enjoy rooms buzzing with productivity and a workforce hell-bent on goals that will lead to increased prosperity. The challenge is to perpetuate this excitement, to keep the momentum building, to communicate success, and to revitalize and unify the workplace in the process.
Pumping up Communication Efforts
In the days and months ahead, employers might consider pumping up their internal and external communications efforts. One solution: adopting an online content management system (CMS) to which everyone can contribute as part of a company’s overall communications goals. A CMS can serve to unite the workforce and broadcast the company’s healthy pulse internally and externally.
Empowering employees to contribute content — e.g. giving each one his/her own intranet page — strengthens the company. But the content need not be limited to brief statements about each employee’s background that ends up gathering dust (and boredom) on Web pages no one turns to. Content should be refreshed periodically through scheduled updates.
There is also a value-add incentive here in that content used for internal communications efforts can find its way to external markets. Companies today focus their marketing efforts on feeding the ever-voracious search engines like Google for the purposes of search engine optimization. Who better to help supply content and keywords than those employees who are living, speaking and writing these words about the company they work for every day?
In addition, a company can issue (with the employees’ consent) press releases to hometown publications — as well as business journals, industry and mainstream publications — that highlight the employees’ contributions, activities and accomplishments. These notices contribute to workplace pride.
The Importance of the Editor’s Role
Employee blogs can be treasure troves of content, but must be monitored to ensure they are in keeping with a company’s editorial standards, ethics and goals. Designating an editor — or outsourcing such a task — to review and edit the content is crucial to ensure these professional standards are safeguarded. The designated editor keeps his/her eye on the prize (the published product) and can serve as a voice of reason when submitted content misses the mark.
For instance: A teaching hospital I contracted for had many esteemed doctors on its staff, many of whom demanded to list numerous publications they had written for on their designated Web pages. My task was to limit the numbers of listings, to edit their CVs down to fighting size, and to provide links to outside sources (e.g. prestigious medical journals and other medical websites).
The department administrator couldn’t accomplish this task for fear of political fallout. But as an external editor, I could, remaining fair and impartial. The result: The published Web pages gave everyone a fair shake.
While it may take much more time for the memories of this recession to fade away, one way of keeping the malaise at bay is a strong, vibrant workforce empowered to make a commitment to communicating and contributing to a company’s ongoing success.
When Robert Israel is not working as a communications specialist, he moonlights as a copywriter with The Hired Pens. Ask for him by name!