There is no doubt 2015 was a tough year across many industries in Western Australia and beyond. The high commodity prices that helped Australia navigate the GFC saw dramatic drops across 2015. While we are not completely dependant on resources as a state or country, it’s safe to say when prices drop like they have, the impact is felt heavily across many industries.
Job losses are just one of the impacts. The images of disgruntled workers dressed in personal protection equipment (PPE) at Perth Airport, who had just been told they’d lost their jobs, became a common sight on the news. So did headlines of job losses throughout the year.
Usually in economic downturns it’s not just staff numbers that are reduced, it’s budgets as well – particularly marketing and communications budgets. The inner debate of justifying spend when you have just let people go is a tough one, so many companies shelve whatever they may have been planning, to avoid upset.
I believe this is a mistake. The right kind of communication in a tough market is absolutely vital for a number of reasons and not only as a way to stop rumour mongering or gossip spreading across a workforce with already low morale. Transparency in times of crisis is so important.
Here are three reasons why you might consider regular internal video communications when the times are tough.
When redundancies happen it has a damaging effect on staff morale. Most people would acknowledge tough decisions have to be made in business, but when things aren’t communicated well, people are left to make up their own stories. This can have an even more damaging effect on things.
An MD or CEO facing the camera and addressing their staff to explain why certain decisions are being made can put to bed any rumours and help people understand the whole picture. Whether this explanation is delivered via interview or a script, people value authenticity and honesty. Video gives you an advantage over an emailed newsletter or release because your staff hears directly from your management team.
Highly engaged staff are also more productive and more willing to go on a journey with you, even if the destination is a little less certain than it was before.
There are still good stories to tell
Even when it seems like the world is full of doom and gloom there are always good stories to tell. You might be doing great work in the community or have a new project you’ve just won. By engaging staff to share their successes as well, you start realising there are good things happening. In hard times it can become a real shot of confidence to a beleaguered workforce to know these things.
Short videos can communicate complex stories in a way everyone can enjoy and bring the story to the desk of everyone in a way an email or newsletter just cant.
This helps to engage staff because it is a chance to showcase some of the work they are doing.
It doesn’t have to cost the earth
Ultimately decisions are based around finances and whether you can justify the spend – even tougher when the economy is being hit hard. It is sometimes easier to ask if you can afford not to do something than if you can afford to do it.
You don’t need to spend huge amounts of money on good quality video. A good production company will know how to tailor a budget so you get the best bang for your buck.
It’s all too easy to take your foot off the gas when things get tough, but a motivated workforce who feel like they have transparency in what is going on are more productive and engaged. In an economy like we have at the moment, what could be more valuable to your business?
If you want to chat about internal video strategies, give us a call.