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Corporate Communication 101

March 6, 2009 - Posted in Personal Posted by:

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There are times when everything is going great. Everything is looking bright and shiny. And you can’t seem to make a mistake. Like Ponting leading the Aussies with Warne, McGrath, and Hayden in it. Or Lehman Brothers being place to be. Those are also the times you do not need to much leadership. 

However, those times are long gone. Lehman doesn’t exist anymore. Aussies no longer dominate cricket. The world economy is in a worse state than Pakistan’s security. And people are getting laid off everywhere. And these are times when a leader is required. These are the times when the men distinguish themselves from the boys. They don’t run for cover but face the heat along with everyone else.

But most importantly, they speak to their people. Calm their nerves. Tell them that everything is gonna be alright. Everybody knows that we are going through some of the roughest times ever. However, it would have been comforting to hear, from the people supposed to lead us, that everything would become better again. That bad times would tide, and good times would be back.

There was a round of layoff at work today and a lot of reorg. Some folks I knew, some I didn’t. All day long today I watched people queue up at the HR bay to complete some or the other formalities. I could feel the tension in our bays. I could see a lot of eyes asking some very pointed questions, to which I had no answers. There was a palpable fear and uncertainity in a lot of people.

A couple of folks I knew, who were being let go, came up to me and congratulated me on the ISB admit, and I had no damn clue how to react. I have never been so lost for words.

I was angry and hurt. Why did not someone explain this in a townhall?? Or at least an email. You guys could have done it better. Hell, you could have done a lot better actually!!

7 Comments

Rhiannon 8 years ago

Lol, I got to know about this and trust me I felt bad too. I had a friend in HCL, who lost his job for apparently no convincing reason. These times are bad and they will definitely be worse…..but to be better again.Those who are facing the brunt, will emerge out stronger.I could so much relate to what you might be feeling. This is exactly the question that I asked few of my mentors a week back, when I was going through a tough time at my place too – where are the leaders, who can be at the front of the pack, rather than hiding behind in secure zone; those I can really observe and learn from and trust me many had no clue. Regardless of whatever might or is happening – I feel this is the best time, to learn, hone skills, and pursue things we always wished to do – Because the next era is not going to be about profitability but about sustainability. And as ‘thinkers’ and ‘doers’ we will sustain in this world…we always have. 🙂

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Vivek Syania 8 years ago

I have been in the same company, and while quitting the only grudge I communicated to the management is that there is no communication. They were appalled that I had all the good words to say about the employer but this. I am hurt when I look back and see that the situation on the Communication has only gone worse.

I am part of a company (and I am in touch with many others with reputed organizations). THere have been similar measures (cost cuttin, salary cuttings etc though no layoffs). Before each of these meetings, I was pleasantly shocked, that my employer summoned the entire workforce of 2000 people and illustrated convincingly with the help of facts figures data and other cost accounting figures as to why such desperate measures are needed. This is called professionalism and even if they lay me off tomorrow I am rest assured they will have a damn good reason for it and they will be transparent about it to the extent of last possible decimal digit (of numbers).

My last company though continues to disappoint me, long after I have left.

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Abhishek Sahay 8 years ago

Angry and Hurt & Insulted and Cheated…Nothing stops one from being humane and considerate, atleast when dealing at a personal level…but guess some things defies all logic…

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Goyal 8 years ago

@Vivek: You are now a part of a company that has grown over time, and maybe people have seen such times before. They have learn’t how to deal with it, and that is why they are where they are today. Hopefully our top management will learn from this experience and grow with it. And believe me, when people are laid off, no one accepts any logic.

@Abhishek: I don’t think cutting workforce, even though a tough thing to do, defies logic. What defies logic was the absence on any sort of communication about the whole episode.

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Abhishek Sahay 8 years ago

Oh! i think my msg dint get communicated fully. When I said ‘defies logic’, I meant the in-humane behavior of the senior manangement.They had no logic to be so plastic and un-affected in their overall approach…We are no (depreciating) machines they are throwing out…

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Goyal 8 years ago

@Abhishek: That was the entire point of the post. The whole thing was done very mechanically. They could have put a more human face to the whole thing.

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Vivek Syania 8 years ago

@ Amit

Agreed! The layoffs are not questionable, the method possibly was!

Nice to see some damage-control being done! Heard there have been townhalls across divisions?

These are certainly uncertain times! The more maturely a company deals with it, better its reputation in the job market.

Anyway, good observation!

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