(T)Rusting Away III

Shades of a Kelly Services study we came across last fall, FC Now reader Curt Rosengren (deja vu!) emailed me today to point out some research done by the HR company Towers Perrin.

In the white paper “Is It Time to Take the ‘Spin’ out of Employee Communication?” the firm shares some sensitive statistics:

  • 44% of employees earning less than $50,000 annually believe that their company generally tells the truth in its communications to employees.
  • 42% of employees believe what they’re told about the company’s business strategy.
  • 39% of employees believe that the communications they receive from their company is open and honest about how the company rewards employees for their work.
  • 47% of employees understand their company’s business strategy.
  • 7% of employees would first turn to their company’s internal print publication (6% for web/intranet) for credible information on company issues.
  • 48% of employees believe they receive more credible information about their company from their supervisor than the CEO. (Only 28% disagree.)

If you’ve ever been in a situation where you’ve read about your company in the Wall Street Journal and tried to reconcile that information with internal memos and executive responses, these numbers should come as no surprise. What to do?

The League of American Communications Professionals recommends the following:

  • Launch a communications audit.
  • Build a cascading news dissemination process.
  • Be honest, don’t overpolish, don’t overspin.
  • Bring your executive management down to earth.