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Report: Crisis Communication Up

More employers are disclosing company financials to ease employee anxiety, a survey finds.
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To quell recession-related fears, many employers are stepping up their efforts to communicate company performance to workers, a new survey found.

In a poll of 92 employers, 77 percent said they already have or are planning to send out internal communication about the impact of the financial crisis, according to Watson Wyatt, a Virginia-based global consulting firm.

More than two-thirds of employers said easing employee anxiety is the chief goal of crisis-related communication, while nearly one-third cited earning employees' trust.

Job security topped the list of employee woes, respondents said, followed by company performance and solvency, bonus and incentive pay, and customer impact. But only 38 percent of employers said they have discussed job security with workers, though nearly 80 percent have disclosed information about company performance and solvency.

Of the companies that have already started to communicate with workers, more than 90 percent say the messages are being delivered by senior management, while 59 percent said the messages come from human resources.

Two out of five companies perceived the messages to be effective in maintaining employee productivity and alleviating stress. Sixty-two percent plan to incorporate the messages into their ongoing communication policy for an indefinite period.

"With no end to the recession in sight, communicating regularly with employees will be critical for companies to keep their workers engaged and productive," Kathryn Yates, global director of communication consulting at Watson Wyatt, said in a statement. "But it's important to keep the specific business context in mind and constantly monitor the effectiveness of the messaging."

Last updated: Jan 20, 2009




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