Frontline employees wanted to hear from CEO

Posted on March 17, 2006 3:48 pm by | Internal | Deconstructing Larkin

For reasons I cannot imagine, I’ve been assigned to judge the “Electronic and Digital Communication - Skills” entries at the IABC Gold Quill Blue Ribbon Panel. Among the entries I’ve been reviewing so far is one from a well-known global company with many tens of thousands of employees. The company is going through evolutionary change wrought by global markets, new technologies, and new demands from existing customers. Communicating the change to employees has been high on the list of priorities for the company’s internal communicators, who conducted employee research to help them craft the efforts. A key bit of research that drove a major decision (and led to the Gold Quill entry) as described in the work plan:

A majority of employees wanted to learn more about (the company’s) goals and direction, and they wanted to hear this information from the CEO.

It’s important to understand the nature of this company: The vast majority of employees are unionized, blue-collar laborers. Yet they wanted to hear about the company’s goals and direction from the top. Yet more evidence that the CEO plays a pivotal role in communications within an organization.



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