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LACK OF FOCUS, ACCOUNTABILITY UNDERMINES COMMUNICATION PROGRAMS

 LACK OF FOCUS, ACCOUNTABILITY UNDERMINES COMMUNICATION PROGRAMS
 MINNEAPOLIS, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Businesses increasingly look to communication programs to support organizational change, yet a new survey by The Wyatt Company has found that such programs are typically hampered by a lack of clear focus and accountability.
 Fewer than one-third (31 percent) of over 2,200 executives and managers surveyed in the United States and Canada say that a formal communication plan exists in their organization.
 More troubling, 83 percent say their organization does not in any way measure the results of their communication efforts. The most common measurement approach -- the use of employee surveys or focus groups -- was reported by just 15 percent of respondents.
 "Most companies 'fly blind' when it comes to communicating with employees," said Valerie Wedin, communications practice leader, in Wyatt's Minneapolis office. "A much more strategic and structured approach is needed."
 The first step is to develop a comprehensive plan that links communications and business goals. "Communication efforts should then be continuously refined based on feedback from employees," Wedin said.
 Asked to select the top five issues that needed to be communicated effectively in order to achieve business objectives, respondents identified the following:
 -- changes in performance management/expectations (ranked in the top five by 73 percent of respondents)
 -- corporate values and mission (68 percent)
 -- quality improvement (68 percent)
 -- controlling health care costs (48 percent)
 -- changes in organizational structure (45 percent).
 "Changes aimed at controlling costs -- whether through modifications to corporate structures or health benefits plans -- are clearly on the minds of business executives," noted Wedin. "They also know that communicating the rationale for cost-management programs is essential for maintaining employee morale and productivity."
 The survey found, however, that respondents are only moderately satisfied to date with communications promoting change. In fact, 22 percent said they were "dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied" with efforts to explain major changes in organizational structure and human resource programs.
 For more information on "The Wyatt Communications and Training Survey," contact Valerie Wedin at 612-921-8742, or write The Wyatt Company, 8400 Normandale Lake Blvd., 15th Floor, Bloomington, Minn., 55437.
 The Wyatt Company is an international consulting firm specializing in the areas human resources, financial management and systems. The firm has 3,400 employees and offices in 69 cities worldwide.
 -0- 7/21/92
 /CONTACT: Valerie Wedin, 612-921-8742, or Peter Miller, 612-921-8737, both of The Wyatt Company/ CO: The Wyatt Company ST: Minnesota IN: SU:


AL -- MN022 -- 1471 07/21/92 15:41 EDT
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Date:Jul 21, 1992
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