Internal Communication in Challenging Times Requiring Change!

Start: 2023-12-06 09:30
End: 2023-12-06 10:30
AmCham Boardroom
Spektrum, ul. Twarda 18, 16th floor

Managing the change at the communication level with employees is one of the fundamental tasks of HR departments nowadays. They may know what actions to take to ensure employees feel correctly informed. But sometimes, the change is abrupt and affects many employees, resulting in significant layoffs. What should be the role of internal communication in such cases, and how should the social impact of such change be minimized to maintain employee engagement?

AmCham HR Committee organized today a meeting called Internal Communication in Challenging Time Requiring Change today. Our speakers were representatives of Hill & Knowlton, AmCham member company: Grzegorz Szczepanski, CEO; Zofia Smełka-Leszczyńska, PhD, Chief Creative Strategist; and Magdalena Załubska-Król, Director, New Economy Practice. We have discussed the main theories of communication and their practical implications (like Information Gap Theory, Mehrabian’s Communication Model, and Rhetorical Triangle), followed by the cultural and societal world trends in work. Some of them include transparency of earnings and a 4-day work week, renaissance of trade unions movement, and “quiet quitters” and “lazy girls” approach (easy job and extraordinary life, where the priority is not earnings but work-life balance, leaving at five, and a nice boss). As our speakers underlined that we should avoid falling into patterns as the media image of Generation Z, often described as demotivated and not working hard, is falsified. We ended the meeting with the Airbnb case and discussed how mass layoffs at this company became a part of the canon of leadership and communication. Our speakers, while talking about what Airbnb got right about announcing the layoffs, mentioned appealing to values and conducting the process in accordance with them, emphasizing the merits of departing and showing them respect, providing equal benefits packages, and doing it with simple, understandable language with direct communication. However, we need to remember that each case is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for handling such situations.

Thank you to our co-chairs, Małgorzata Grzelak, and Piotr Zygmunt, for picking the topic and moderating the meeting. The topic will be continued, so watch out for the next meetings of the AmCham HR Committee.



Grzegorz Szczepański
Zofia Smełka-Leszczyńska
Magdalena Załubska-Król