Boeing’s possible employee culture audit, Entry-level employee confidence at a low point

Plus: unpacking “resenteeism” at work.

Greetings, comms pros! Let’s take a look at a few news stories from the last week to see what we can learn from them.

1. National Transportation Safety Board says that it might interview every Boeing employee for a better look into the company’s safety culture

It hasn’t been a smooth ride for Boeing lately following increased focus on the company’s safety record after news of its issues with 737 Max production came to a head (and remain there for main supplier Spirit AeroSystems). Things have gotten to the point where the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) may interview every Boeing employee for a closer look at the organization’s cultural commitments to safety.

According to Insider:

“I don’t think there’s anyone at Boeing, from Dave Calhoun down, that doesn’t want to know what happened,” [NTSB Head Jennifer] Homendy said. “They want to know and they want to fix it and we’re there to help.”

She added: “We don’t know if we’re going to yet, it’s a little early to tell, but one tool we could use is a safety-culture survey.”

A safety-culture audit by a government arm isn’t something you want if you’re Boeing, but it also poses an opportunity for the organization to gain key insights that can form the cornerstone of its recovery strategy, as moments of strife can sometimes form chances to rethink you processes and cultural norms.

Whether this plan goes forward or not, it’s a reminder that comms can stay proactive by advocating for periodic culture audits, partnering with HR to revisit employee guidelines and avoiding the potential negative repercussions that may come from overlooking them.

2. Glassdoor survey shows low confidence in entry-level employees, increased talk of layoffs

As a comms person, it’s important to have a read on how your employees are feeling. Pulse surveys are just one tool to make that happen. But if one of those shows you that a subset of your employees aren’t feeling confident in their roles, it’s time to do something about it.

According to the Glassdoor Employee Confidence Index, hiring slowdowns and lower quit rate have blocked younger employees from attaining desired positions within their organizations, dinging their overall confidence. Additionally, the report found that discussions of layoffs were on the rise, potentially giving rise to even less job confidence.

The timing of the release of this study is also notable on the heels of backlash against Glassdoor for not maintaining user anonymity. The release of this study could be a helpful step for Glassdoor toward restoring its authority with workers and employers alike.

In today’s intergenerational workforce, communicators need to ride the line of catering messages to the people they’re reaching with personalization while still nurturing a unified workforce. Things like employee assistance programs (EAPs), mentors in the office, and other benefit offerings can help people feel personally attended to so that they can bring their best selves to work and build relationships with others. Our jobs make up such a significant part of our lives that it’s only right to feel confident in them. Communicators are in a position to help that process along.

3. The new workplace trend of “resenteeism”

You’ve heard about quiet quitting — are you ready for the latest workplace buzzword? Ready or not, it’s here, and it’s called resenteeism. It refers to the idea that employees will stay in jobs they don’t like because they either can’t find the job that’s right for them or the proper opportunities within their organization hasn’t come along.

According to Fox Business:

“Over time, they begin to resent their employer because they feel trapped in a job they do not want,” noted Jennifer Libby.

“If employees want to try to escape these factors by searching for a new job but cannot find one, they may experience resenteeism,” she said.

“Their resentment can build up over time if they cannot find another position while their work environment fails to improve.”

Building a positive work culture isn’t just a magic wand you wave – it takes work and lots of listening to employees. Much like quiet quitting, you can help stem the tide of this new trend by analyzing feedback and tapping managers to listen carefully to what employees want and need. Employees who see opportunities for growth and chances to have their voices heard are more likely to stay and contribute to a positive culture — while those who don’t may be looking for the door.

4. How about some good news?

Have a great weekend comms all-stars!

Sean Devlin is an editor at Ragan Communications. In his spare time he enjoys Philly sports, a good pint and ’90s trivia night.

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