These past few days, one company has been topping the headlines due to some problems with its employees. Employees’ resignations. Employees’ protests. And these got me concerned more than before.
Yes, it is Philippine Airlines. And it pains me to see the first ever company that made me feel what corporate life is all about is undergoing such issues.
I did my internship in Philippine Airlines in summer this year. I was assigned to the Advertising and Promotions division under the Commercial Group. It was there when I first learned how was it to go to the office rushing before the clock strikes 8 in the morning, dress up in stockings and high heels, use lunch time for something worthwhile, and anticipating for the last hour of work. It was there when I first learned how to build relationships with other employees and co-trainees. It was there when I first realized that a President’s office is really huge and worth-craving for. It was my first workplace.
Headlines say that cabin crew of PAL- pilots, flight attendants, and others- are resigning from their posts. In fact, the resignation of 25 pilots caused some alterations on the flight schedule of some passengers. Whether their resignation is legal or adhering to their contracts, I don’t know. But the company for sure is about to lose more and more experienced and knowledgeable workforce if it will fail to address their employees’ concerns.
In my limited stay in the company, I somehow felt what the pilots and flight attendants are accusing PAL to have been falling short of. They say they don’t value employees in such a way that the management fails to give them the right amount of salary they should have as well as the holiday and rest days they deserve. Okay, as a trainee, I am not entitled to those work conditions but I felt like the management is a world away. In my observation, there are limited avenues in which the management keeps in touch with the employees.
The Possible Effect of Intranet Overhaul
During free time in my practicum(or when there is nothing to do), I read PAL Infoserve, the company’s intranet. It serves as a bulletin where announcements are posted, and where PDF files of these can be downloaded to be exact. There are also some advisories and other articles posted by Human Resources as pieces of advice to employees. But then, I noticed that this intranet of theirs is linear and definitely a top-down communication. Some employees don’t even take a serious look on what the intranet says. I think it apparently lacks engagement from the employees that social media have now.
What if their Intranet works two-way? What if it has forums or discussion boards where employees can discuss their grievances or better yet, with the management itself? Can overhauling their Intranet provide an answer for better dialogue between the management and employees?
I think it will. Aside from being a source of feedback, the management can utilize the Intranet for establishing solid employee relations? They can even make loyal employees that way and avoid high rate of turnovers. Communication among PAL employees from offices worldwide can be made possible. Employees will feel that they are valued and taken care of.
Employees as Stakeholders
I think above any other stakeholder, an organization should prioritize employees. I think messing up with them is a no-no. First, employees are the company’s workforce. No employees, no operations, no company. Bad employee relations could solely dictate an organization’s effectiveness and efficiency. Second, employees are definitely brand ambassadors. Their loyalty and faith in the company will translate to them ‘evangelizing’ the company itself to customers and perspective consumers alike. They are a instant source of people who will give highly-credible testimonials that will benefit the company’s reputation as a whole.
Now I am convinced that social media could be enough to resuscitate an organization. It can be even said that social media is an organization’s oxygen in the present age. And I did not thought of this before; social media can make things critical for an organization or become its panacea.