Forget exit interviews, internal communicators (not HR) should reach out to employees who are staying
Whether they’re among the slew of Boomers poised to retire, or casualties of a reduction in force (or RIF, the newest popular euphemism for firing—terms like layoff, downsizing, rightsizing and smartsizing no longer being opaque or blow-softening enough), employees are turning over their photo IDs in record numbers.
The skills of internal communicators are vital in such situations. Someone, for instance, has to remind the CEO why the company must explain what’s happening to the non-reduced workers, and why they should or shouldn’t be concerned.
But communicators should be involved long before such turmoil occurs, says Joyce Gioia-Herman, president and CEO of management consultants The Herman Group.
Keeping the best employees and attracting more like them are, of course, huge factors in an organization’s success. So instead of reacting to a crisis, communicators should reach out to workers on an ongoing basis beforehand.
Reaching out, Gioia-Herman says, means doing more than writing newsletter articles and setting up town hall meetings with executives.