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Thinking About How Communicating With Staff

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Never a better time to think about how businesses communicate with staff

Auckland, 31 March 2005 - With New Zealand’s tight employment market, there has never been a greater need for employers to look at the benefits of a properly implemented internal communications programme, according to executive chairman of Hill & Knowlton (NZ) Ltd, Paul Hemsley.

He told the 8th Strategic Communications and PR conference (Auckland, March 30-31) that smartly executed programmes for communicating with staff could drive productivity improvements and aid retention of valued staff members.

“With the strongest employment market for 20 years, there is not a better time for CEOs to consider the value and benefits that improved employee communication might add to their businesses.

“Too few companies currently rate employee communications highly enough to make the investment required. But meeting the needs of employees in terms of what they should know about their own job and the performance of the company produces results, increases retention and drives reputation for the business.

“It is almost self-evident that staff who know what their job is, know where they fit in, and who feel valued work better.

Hemsley said the current period of tight employment is being interpreted by different parties in different ways. Employer organisations had focussed on the need for more imported labour, the unions on the value of work and the need for wage increases, and the Government has promoted tapping into new sources of labour such as women in the workforce.

He said improved communications between management and staff could contribute to increased productivity and profitability.

“There is the bonus of improving staff retention rates, in the face of some recent local research (by Frog Recruitment) which shows 72% of men and 74% of women intend to have a new employer in two years time.

“Even a modest reduction in these figures will reduce recruitment costs.

“Suddenly it is an ‘employee market’, and companies need to think creatively about how they hold onto their people. Research consistently shows money is not the number one priority and dissatisfied employees are those not clear about what’s expected of them, not happy with their career opportunities and those who don’t feel adequately appreciated or rewarded.”


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