Whether it’s a lower-than-expected earnings period or layoffs, every company has to find a way to announce bad news.
Historically, the news was delivered with a memo or in an in-person meeting, but these no longer suffice as workforces become increasingly distributed. Fortunately, the introduction of streaming video technology has upended how businesses communicate changes to large numbers of workers for the better.
“It’s efficient, you can reach a wide audience at a low cost, and the products available for this are extremely affordable” says Dan Rayburn, a streaming media analyst for Frost & Sullivan and executive vice president of streamingmedia.com. Rayburn adds that major companies, including Goldman Sachs and Coca-Cola, are already taking advantage.
Most importantly, streaming video enables three critical elements necessary in delivering tough news to employees:
According to research from McKinsey & Company about company transformations, employees are eight times more likely to report a success when their bosses communicate directly. Streaming video not only enables company-wide, simultaneous communication, but also allows sometimes inaccessible C-level executives to communicate directly and clearly with all employees.
What’s more, streaming video facilitates an open conversation between employees and senior management. As an executive communicates a message to the employees, an HR manager can sift through pertinent questions submitted by employees on the platform in real-time. Executives can then address these questions to help employees understand what’s going on.
With streaming video, a single message can not only be delivered across a large company, but also tailored to that company’s different locations. Following an initial announcement, companies can integrate additional messages that pertain specifically to varying regions or departments. This is particularly useful for globally distributed companies where employees may be impacted differently depending on their location.
Video streaming enables both a uniform message and smaller video conversations that provide details on, for example, each person’s severance package. According to Valerie Frederickson, CEO of the HR consultancy Frederickson Pribula Li, even if a company is confined to a relatively small geographic region in a single time zone, any company with more than 75 employees should consider itself a candidate for streaming video services.
Streaming video can be tailored to meet individual needs, interests and circumstances, but it can also prevent variation in messages from the leadership team to employees.
“How can the company give the message all around the world, how can they convey that it’s under control?” asks Frederickson. “What you want to have in streaming video is an executive at the top or near the top who is disciplined and can stay on point.”
Video streaming controls for anomalies that may appear if the job of delivering the news were given entirely to local managers. This is essential for preventing an internal misalignment that might lead to conflicts.
Consistency also implies communication is ongoing. Whole-company change is 12 percent more likely to be successful with continual communication from senior management. A video platform enables companies to help employees with their next steps after the company’s change by offering webinars, and it helps HR keep track of who’s actually attending them to ensure that employees are taking the right steps in the transition.
“The advantage of using video is that it keeps human element,” says Frederickson. “If you have a well-planned message and deliver it with technology in a flawless and seamless way, it gives employees access to go get information they need.”
Learn more about IBM Cloud Video solutions.
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