With reference to the case study given in the image, evaluate the different ways in which Panasonic might communicate any future redundancies to staff and the media. Refer to all aspects of...

With reference to the case study given in the image, evaluate the different ways in which Panasonic might communicate any future redundancies to staff and the media. Refer to all aspects of effective communication - the appropriate sender and receiver, the clarity of the message, the medium to be used and the opportunity for feedback.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Simply put, it's hard to see the management at the Cardiff Panasonic factory doing anything worse than what they had already done.  The advantage they have is that the only way to go is up.  However, "up" is where they need to advance if they seek to restore the relationship between employer and employee.

One path that has to be pursued in the future is acknowledging the reality of staff reductions.  The management failed to do this in Cardiff.  When confronted with the rumours of downsizing, they simply denied it.  One way to enhance communication is to simply acknowledge the situation through personal contact with those who will be impacted.  It is not a desirable situation and is very uncomfortable.  However, employees will hold more respect towards management when there is a sober and honest acknowledgement of the conditions surrounding their employment than blanket denial which fails to strike at anything meaningful.  The personalized contact element is significantly missing here.  Management did not even reach out to the workers when they were being dismissed.  In future endeavors, being able to address issues, offer some form of explanation, and even offer some type of severance package would be steps that can be taken to help enhance communication between employers and the employees who are impacted with life altering reality.

In terms of the management's communication with the media, better protocol needs to be followed there, as well.  I think that employers who have dismiss a large chunk of employees in a given community have to offer prepared statements and interviews to the media in the hopes of offering their perspective on the issue.  If a conversation is not particularly pleasing, then one has to offer something to change the dialogue.  The management in the Cardiff factory needed to have reached out to the media in order to ensure that their form of the dialogue was understood by the public.  Simply put, they failed to do that.  News releases, interviews, being able to be visible in the midst of such a crisis and ensuring that the media is instrumental in designing a new image are all parts of this equation.  Feedback might not be initially positive.  However, in the long term, the image of the company is strengthened.  If the media is able to control the dialogue, as was the case here, it does not help the organization's public image. The dialogue of the organization became one of the heartless and disrespectful corporation with regards to its workers.  Management has to recognize that it is involved in a public affairs campaign when having to make such significant cuts in workforce. It becomes a battle of message and one where organizations have to employ the media as  part of their efforts.  In this regard, effective communication is seen as more than simply a two way street between employer and employees. It extends to the larger community, and ensuring that there is a semblance of relationship between management and the larger social setting. Effective communication requires organizations to take this wider focus in being on message and ensuring that others appropriate this vision.

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