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The fear factor: the vital role of internal comms in BTO, part 2

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The fear factor: The vital role of internal comms in BTO, part 2

Yesterday we discussed the perks big companies are offering staff to lure them back to the office and wondered if the need for perks isn’t rather missing the point: which is that lots of people just hate the office.

I wonder if that doesn’t apply double in both the flak and hack trade.

PR companies have always been better employers than newspapers, it seems to me, but both trade somewhat on the notion that these are glamorous jobs (whatever the reality).

Editors and PR bosses have always assumed that there are scores of the cleverest graduates lining up to replace any of the old guard who are getting difficult.

That probably stopped being true a while back – the really clever internet developer doesn’t go to the web pages of a newspaper, she goes to Google.

And it applies double now.

A young (ish) reporter puts it like this.

“For the last ten years my paper has made it plain that it thinks I should be thankful for my job. That there are people lining up to take it off me, and so I better do as I am told. It’s management by fear.”

Since she and many others spent the last 18 months feeling actual fear that management style just isn’t going to wash.

I think the main problem hack and flak businesses will face this year will be staff retention. Loads of workers are going to be forthright about what they want from life and expect their employer to put that ahead of whatever the boss happens to prefer.

In-house yoga is not remotely a substitute for actual well-being. In-house comms teams and HR departments have got work to do.

Press release of the day

A thoughtful release here from ActiveOps about hybrid working.

There will need to be a rise in tech use to measure the performance of staff, but that shouldn’t stray into employee surveillance.

The emphasis must be on employers figuring out what works, not on punishing employees whose numbers don’t look right.

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