Tesla’s RTO requirement, Taco Bell’s ESG inspires drag brunch promo and more

Check out which management styles lead to higher worker retention rates, along with our weekly roundup of inspiring stories.

Hi there, comms connoisseurs.

Let’s explore some notable stories from May 30-June 3, 2022 — and pull out a few timely, tactical takeaways along the way:

1. Elon Musk’s RTO requirement could use some comms guidance

Tesla CEO Elon Musk told employees in a series of emails this week that the company would no longer allow remote work, writing that it is “no longer acceptable.”

Electrek published the two internal emails in full:

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Studies have shown that, given the choice, employees would prefer to work remotely and have more flexibility rather than receive a pay increase. Musk’s emails project a nearly zero-tolerance policy on continuing to work from home — and a recent tweet of his backed it up.

He insinuates that remote work correlates with employees “phoning it in.” This is in direct conflict with multiple studies that suggest worker productivity is actually higher when working from home, along with other benefits like employee satisfaction and employee happiness levels.

Musk’s emails are strict and unforgiving in tone — two messaging traits that communicators often avoid in order to not come across as authoritarian or commanding. The fact that the emails were shared publicly could also make for an employer branding issue for Tesla, given the fact that modern employees expect more from their employers in terms of compassion and flexibility.

2. The management styles that lead to the highest retention rates

A new report from Skynova has found that a collaborative management style is associated with higher levels of employee retention and better working relationships.

In a survey of more than one thousand managers, Skynova found that 57% of respondents who rated their relationships with employees as “very good” described their management style as collaborative, followed by “democratic or participative” (52%), “transformational” (50%) and “consultative” (47%).

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According to the report, becoming a collaborative manager requires certain skills:

First and foremost, you will need to build a strong sense of trust with your employees. Giving your team a heightened sense of responsibility and putting your faith in them is paramount to becoming this type of leader. Expanding communication between departments, promoting diversity in experience, and sharpening your listening skills are also important steps in implementing a collaborative management style.

Communicators can encourage a culture of collaboration in a myriad of ways, including making space for employees and managers to share ideas on an intranet platform, leaning in to the use of collaborative technologies and spearheading mentor-mentee relationships.

3. Taco Bell’s drag brunch promotion spurred on by employee resource group

Mexican fast-food chain Taco Bell recently announced a new promotion that brings together queer performers and the company’s new breakfast offerings: Taco Bell Drag Brunch.

In a press release, the company gives credit to Live Más Pride, Taco Bell’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group (ERG) for the idea.

“[The ERG] has played a major role in driving awareness of and meaningfully supporting LGBTQIA+ communities both within Taco Bell and the communities we serve and operate in,” says Taco Bell’s Chief Brand Officer Sean Tresvant in the release.

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More from the release:

The Live Más Pride Employee Resource Group started at Taco Bell Corp. in 2020 and is made up of over 100 members across the brand with a mission of making an impact by creating opportunities and engagements that elevate the voices, stories and experiences of its community both internally and externally. The Taco Bell Drag Brunch experience, which helps foster positive environments for the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies, was a natural extension of Live Más Pride’s mission.

It’s a great example of how your internal comms strategy can play into your company’s branding and promotional efforts — and an example of how to commemorate a special holiday without coming off as insincere. Employee-led initiatives, especially those headed up by members of marginalized communities, are a good way to help your PR teams imbue their strategy with some legitimacy.

4. How about some good news?

This week, let’s draw inspiration from:

Take good care of yourselves, comms champions, and keep up the good work.


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