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Change communication.

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PRN 4106 WEEK 12, MODULE NINE CHANGE COMMUNICATION * Why is change viewed with such suspicion by employees of an organization? * What role can public relations play in easing the process of change in an organizations? * Cite two case studies. By GREG SMITH Student 3022179 Tutor: Renae Desai "Through good communication, you can help people accept, even sometimes, welcome change." (Morgan, 1972). Introduction In today's rapidly-changing world, change is a common factor in all organizations. Unfortunately, change is also a common cause of fear among people affected by change. Whether you are a production worker or a sales representative, lack of knowledge about an organisation's plans for the future can cause tremendous angst. Fortunately, there is a solution to lessen the fear of change. Change communication is a specialist area of PR practice which should be integrated into any organisation's business plan. It can be used in a variety of "crunch" situations, including corporate downsizing, corporate takeovers, new workplace practices or the gradual introduction of a new corporate culture. While it has been practised for some time, its value is only just starting to be recognised. ...read more.


(p394). "The vision must be shared, the purpose of change communicated and employee involvement and commitment secured." This is where "the ability to communicate is an essential management quality" and a necessity. However, effective communication occurs (only) when there is: * a mutual understanding between the elements of the organization * vision, values and goals are shared * individuals understand their contribution" (Hart, p270). There are overtones of Grunig's two-way asymmetrical theory in this proposition, particularly with regard to developing "mutual understanding". The full benefits of this process are realised by Moss Kanter, et al, who argue that "full involvement, communication and disclosure ... can be potent tools for overcoming resistance and giving employees a stake in the outcome". (Beer, 1980, as cited in Kanter, et al, p384). Morgan (1972) identifies six areas of basic communication necessary in change strategy. 1. Get in on the ground floor 2. Report all facts of change quickly and completely 3. Observe fundamental communications practices (excellence) 4. Encourage good communication in managers/supervisors. Morgan, 1997, takes this a step further, stating supervisors/team leaders should be trained in communication skills. 5. Use all (relevant) ...read more.


Case study 2 Citibank enlisted employees worldwide in cost-cutting and new business-building to improve profitability. In the '70s and '80s, Reeder explained, Citibank underwent a major expansion, launching credit card operations overseas that have netted more than six million customers outside the United States. But the bottom fell out at the end of 1990. The economy weakened and they felt the impact their bottom line. The corporation was forced to take larger than normal write-offs for bad debt, which made profits shrink. Financial analysts were starting to say bad things about the company's viability. To turn this situation around, Citibank's top management prepared a five-point plan, focusing on core businesses, to increase profitability and reduce costs. With employees spread out in more than 3000 offices in 90 countries. Headquarters staff depended on "a network of several hundred communications professionals around the world who received quarterly briefings on our earnings. Each quarter they received packages that they could use in local businesses. Employee newsletters, the employee video news magazine and a daily electronic news service were all used. Employees received information as soon as it was available to the media. They also feed back information about how they communicate across businesses and borders. The PR people reinforced Citibank's broad messages to local audiences. At the end of a two-year period, Citicorp's operating margin increased by $2.3 billion. ...read more.

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