According to Autoblog, Ford is surveying its salaried workers in the US for their views on various human resources matters to give “the leadership team valuable input” and enable it to “collectively understand employee views on the survey topics and continue to move forward as a team.”
In public relations, we recognise that two way communication is a good thing, but are surveys really the best approach? In the case of Ford, it saw one in eight salaried staff leave the company in February as part of its Way Forward restructuring. It may still need to lose another 4,000 workers from the remaining 42,000. What kind of confidence in the future can employees feel to express their honest views knowing their jobs are on the line?
Apparently, Ford leadership also claims, “More education of the workforce is required as fewer than half of employees say they believe Way Forward will help Ford achieve sustainable business success.” That sounds more like propaganda, than an open-mind for really hearing, and engaging with what people think.
I don’t know why leaders find it so hard to realise employees – and customers – are just as talented, often even more so, than themselves. So why do they only seek views in order to persuade others that management is wonderful and has all the right answers?