In my 20-plus years of doing employee communications, I’ve seen a lot of really bad, patronizing employee communication efforts.
One company actually had a poster by the entrance to the building illustrating, with pictures, the proper way to walk through the revolving door.
At another company, there’s a sign by every elevator warning employees to “not walk into the elevator backwards,” in case the doors open and the elevator isn’t actually there.
In my experience, the most patronizing communications are usually tied to either wellness or diversity.
One year, an employee publication ran a set of “20 Tips for Not Gaining Weight During the Holidays.”
Tip #1 was: “At office holiday parties, drink a beverage that you don’t like that much, so you’ll drink less.”
Tip #2 was: “If it’s a buffet, don’t get your own plate. Instead, share from other peoples’ plates.”
Well, wouldn’t that be a party!! Pour yourself a tumbler of motor oil to sip on and start snagging chicken wings off of the CFO’s plate!
And I’ll never forget the employee publication that ran an article titled: “Diversity is music to our ears.”