In a move that was designed to settle choppy waters, BlackBerry shot off an open letter to users this week. But where is the company's open letter to its beleaguered employees?
“These are no doubt challenging times for us and we don’t underestimate the situation or ignore the challenges we are facing,” the letter said. “We are making the difficult changes necessary to strengthen BlackBerry.”
While the letter was targeted towards the company’s customers, presenting them with a previously unseen level of transparency, BlackBerry employees likely caught wind of it as well. With the company facing an uncertain future, should they have sent a similar letter to their employees? One HR consultant seems to think so.
“I think transparency is the foundation of everything,” says Valerie Corbin, president of Toronto-based Full Circle Consulting.
Corbin believes BlackBerry should be doing everything within their power to be as transparent with their employees as possible. She notes that their management should be discussing “how people can do their jobs, how they can talk about their experiences at work and their ideas.”
The company also needs to work hard to ensure their employees are as engaged as possible. The more engaged the employees are, the more likely they are to remain with the firm through this rough period.
In addition, there are other issues that should be addressed. “Do they (the employees) have someone to talk to if there is a concern?” wonders Corbin. They also need to know about the “vision for the company, and (if) they are involved in that vision,” Corbin adds. “These are the things BlackBerry and any company should be addressing.”
While many might view BlackBerry’s open letter a white flag of sorts, Corbin believes the company did the right thing by making it public.
“They are trying to express to their people that the times are changing, but they’re not going to sit there and tell them it’s going to be great,” she says. “I actually think it was a show of respect to their customers. They are saying that’s it going to be tough, and they want to counter the bad press and make them aware of what’s going on.”