Insider reports emerged this week that staff morale at Marks and
Spencer’s Baker Street HQ is at rock bottom following the announcement
of pending job cuts, a situation that highlights one of the main
pitfalls of UK legislation regarding redundancies.
Employees at M&S have been told that 200 jobs are to go, but that staff
will have a further three months to ponder their potential redundancy
before individuals are named. The reason?The required 90-day
It requires a very cleverly managed internal communications strategy if
an organisation wishes to emerge from this process unscathed. The
prospect of redundancy, and even the consultation process, is never
going to be a pleasant one, but as M&S is keen to point out, by
involving staff in the decision-making there is always a chance that, at
best, other solutions can be found or, at worst, at least staff feel
their views are taken into account.
But if not handled well, the climate of uncertainty created during this
period can have long-term implications. The buy-in to brand values
achieved over years can suffer irretrievably, as personal interests take
precedence and customer service suffers.
This week’s Focus feature looks at the importance of getting staff to
live and breathe the values of the organisation they work for in order
to authenticate its positioning.
Next week, Marks and Spencer launches its new strategy with a
promotional drive of a scale unprecedented in its long history. If this
repositioning is to restore M&S’s lead position in the high street its
internal and external messages need to be aligned - and fast.