Discontent in Dundee could spread for NCR

Just when we start to think that the importance of internal comms is gaining ground, we hear stories about companies such as ATM-maker NCR, whose US CEO was last week reported to have made its workforce in Dundee redundant via a videolink from his office in Ohio.

Unsurprisingly, the firm's workers vented their anger to a team of reporters.

This comms nightmare should act as a stark reminder to the business community of the importance of protecting the brand and reputation of the company, and the wellbeing of staff.

There is a more hands-on and sensitive way to make people redundant, such as cascading face-to-face meetings, followed by the appropriate literature answering all employees' questions and providing information on future meetings to discuss the terms of redundancy.

Of course, media comms must also be managed so that the first message staff hear comes not from a disgruntled employee but direct from the company itself.

News of NCR employees' treatment will spread to Hungary (to where the Dundee jobs are shifting) and could detrimentally affect the motivation of any new recruit, as well as damage the company's global reputation.

Phillipa Jose, account executive, Flagship Consulting.

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