An office situation (in an old economy culture) to start with: An important looking emissary from the MD’s office strode up to the notice board. He brandished a type written sheet, pinned it up on the soft board and cleared his throat. The last action had the desired effect. Employees peered out of their paper files, acknowledge the emissary’s esteemed presence and dived deep into their cluttered desks again. The emissary pushed the last thumb tack in place and strode out into the corridor.
Pens dropped, thick box files were banged shut and a dozen employees rushed to the notice board peering into the message from the MD that the emissary had pinned up.
This flurry of activity carried on to the cafeteria where employees communicated their reactions to each other. Once upon a time, that was employee communication in an old economy culture, where the management instructed and the employees obeyed, where there were long waiting lists for the few jobs going, this form of unilateral communication did work.
Today, high growth companies thinking in the knowledge economy are on an eternal quest to attract and retain talented employees. With the altered employer employee equation the paradigms of employee communication have changed as well. We have ushered in an era of implementing performance appraisals systems based on a 360 degree feedback. Wood paneled corner offices have made way for glass cabins and open seating plans. Salutations and honorifics are increasingly being replaced by the infectious first name culture.
The breakdown of these employer employee barriers has resulted in a need for companies to communicate with their employees in a proactive, direct, transparent, candid and informal manner. The achievement of a milestone, a significant industry development or even a call for action of employees to rise to the occasion in turbulent times is best encapsulated in a carefully drafted company wide e-mail cascade. Depending on the significance of the announcement the e-mail cascade could be supplemented by a public address via video conference or web-cast for employees across locations. This would offer employees the opportunity to interact.
Technology has changed the mode of communication but the nuances of human nature remain the same. So what do we seek in an effective communicator? Do we select a person with great oratorical skill, impeccable language, a sleek accent and a towering personality? These traits in a communicator are welcome value additions but the core strengths of a communicator lie elsewhere. The communicator needs to be well entrenched in the values and culture of the company. He needs to be perceived as a committed professional well respected by management and employees. During his address, he needs to display sincerity, exude confidence and conviction in the message.
While we talk of communication by modern means to employees above it is also important that the organization takes care of cyber safety so that there is no hacking or distortions in the communications whether office or shopping.
The popularity of the Internet has advantages for fashionistas as well. Online shopping is the next big rage. We’re sure you have purchased your shares of clothes and products online. Here’s how you can ensure a positive experience.
1. Ensure that the website of your preferences is safe. Always shop through a secure channel only.
2. Purchase only from reputed dealers who guarantee authentic products. After all, you don’t want your cocktail dress to have a label that reads “Guchi”. Look for authorized online distributors of particular brands.
3. Since shipping requires items to be transported over long distances, make sure that the websites offers you quality packaging.
4. Check if the website insurance against theft and accidental damage in transit.
5. Research all shopping policies. Read rules pertaining to returns and exchanges. For instance, retail giant NET-A-PORTER offers easy returns and exchanges. If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, it will be collected from you at no extra cost.
6. Reputable websites also offer fashion advice. This includes sizing help and experts tips. Very often, an item you have requested might be out. In such cases, queue up on the waiting list and check back for updates.
7. Choose a retailer that offers you round the clock customer service.