What outsourcing can tell you about internal communications

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Chatting with several outsourcing professionals recently it occured to me that how a company handles its outsourcing communications can tell you a lot about its communication culture. Here are some of the items I’ve noted:

  • if the outsourcing arrangement does not have a considered and documented communication strategy it is highly unlikely the organization sees the strategic value of communicating and Communications (as a function). The same goes if the outsourcing initiative does not have a Communications professional involved but rather expects the project lead to develop the communications plan.

  • communication strategies that only cover what to say to investors and shareholders should make you question where employees rank in the organization’s view of its stakeholders, internal communications are likely to get short shrift (e.g., recycled external messages, no budget for face-to-face meetings)

  • secrecy around outsourcing is not always driven by the sensitive nature of the topic or productivity issues, but sometimes by an internal culture that does not want to deliver tough messages

What’s your experience been? And how have you worked around the challenges?

Do you agree that good outsourcing communication is possible in a weak internal communications climate but not vice versa? (i.e. you won’t see poor outsourcing communication in a company with strong and strategic internal communications).

(Originally posted on LinkedIn 24 August, 2014)