Company Communication With the WorkersArtur Victoria
May 17, 2011 — 2,364 views
Most of the difficulties in the employer-employee relationship are the result of misunderstanding or of a lack of understanding of one another problems. The average workman is a steady, hard-working man. He has little sympathy with communism, with radical socialistic tendencies, or with any attempt to breed dissatisfaction and strife between capital and labor. He is occupied with his job, his home, and his family.
Unfortunately, however, much of what he hears or reads is based upon unsound economic theories. Much of it sounds well. Much of it is of a sensational nature. If it is repeated often enough, it begins to seem true and thus tends to distort the point of view of the worker.
It is up to management to find out what destructive propaganda is being distributed and to answer it. The workers are just as sensitive to the truth as they are to propaganda, but in order for them to know the truth, it must be stated to them. After all, the conclusions they draw depend on what they see and hear. If they hear destructive propaganda and management does not show that the statements are untruths, they naturally believe it if they hear it again and again.
Those who are militant in trying to bring about changes in the present industrial and social order are vociferous in promoting their causes. Management must be equally vigorous in getting its messages to employees and the public. Company plans, changes, and proposals should be frankly presented in a plain, straightforward, interesting form to workers in pamphlets or announcements of a personal nature, not merely posted on the bulletin boards. The employee is usually interested in his company. He has a sense of fair play. When he gets information from the company on its earnings, its prospects, the dividends it pays, and other matters which have some bearing on his own economic welfare, he is no longer a victim of the false doctrines or untruthful statements often designed to make him distrust his company and doubt the ethics and fairness of the management.
Workers need to understand the relationship between increased productivity per man-hour and the high standard of living. They need to realize the capital expenditures required for each man employed. They need to be brought to an appreciation of the drain made on industry by high taxes. When workers understand the problems that management must face in administering company affairs on a sound basis, and when they learn how they can co-operate to their own advantage in the progressive developments undertaken, they are ready more often than not to lend full co-operation.
One of the best channels for getting the facts to the workers is through the regular line organization. If the supervisory force is composed of the right kind of men, they hold the respect of their subordinates, and their subordinates will have confidence in what they tell them. It is up to the major executives to decide on the facts and information to give out. In this, management must be sincere. The information must be accurate and adequate and not idealistic or smacking of propaganda.
Other means of getting the facts to the workers are through employee clubs or associations and through the shop paper or company bulletin. An annual report to employees is a comparatively recent innovation but one which can be of considerable value if it is designed particularly for the employees and if those compiling it find out first what it is about the company that the employees would like to know. A job means security to the worker. His company represents the means through which he supports his family and insures their future. An annual report showing the company growth and management's plans for the present and the future is a source of pride and an added sense of job security.
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