1 . Organizations struggle to get employees back to their offices
We’ve written a whole lot here at Ragan about how remote work has many benefits, including better employee mental health. But that doesn’t mean companies have stopped thinking of new ways to get employees back to their desks now that the height of the pandemic has passed. Salesforce is the latest to try a creative tactic to get people back in the office — even after the company acknowledged that remote work wasn’t going away several years ago.
Salesforce, the business software behemoth, announced that for a 10-day period, it will give a $10 charitable donation per day on behalf of any employee who comes into the office (or for remote employees who attend company events). A spokeswoman said it was only natural the company would want to find moments for “doing well and doing good.” But to some employees, it might feel like a tonal shift, given that the company’s previous workplace plans were announced with fanfare for a future in which much of its staff could be fully or partially remote forever. (The company emphasized that this remains the case.)
“An immersive workspace is no longer limited to a desk in our Towers,” the company wrote in a February 2021 memo. “The 9-to-5 workday is dead.”
A tonal shift to say the least! When your company says employees can work from home, let them work from home. While on the surface it’s certainly admirable that Salesforce would give back to charity if people come into the office, doing so without specific examples or employees sharing their stories makes the perk seem a bit transactional. If your organization has intent — state it upfront. It’ll be better for everyone in the long run.
2. Twitter warns against leaks in an all-hands email
There’s been a lot of changes at Twitter lately, between Elon Musk’s takeover last year and his appointment of Linda Yaccarino as CEO. “Twitter 2.0” as it has come to be known in some internet circles has focused on some changes to the platform, and new hire Joe Bennaroch, formerly executive vice president of global communications at NBCUniversal, is taking on the task of communicating those changes. Bennaroch recently sent an email to Twitter staff cautioning against leaking confidential information to the public.
Twitter’s concrete commitment to communicating with employees around privacy is interesting here, and refreshing after months of seemingly rudderless leadership under Musk’s direct purview. Perhaps someone with the comms chops of Bennarroch is what Twitter 2.0 needs to gain back a sense of direction and purpose in the public eye. We’re looking forward to seeing what changes Bennaroch’s strategies bring to Twitter’s culture.
3. Warner Bros. Discovery to cut jobs as entertainment industry reels
More layoffs for a major company are on the way, as entertainment giant Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) announced that it’s cutting 100 jobs.
The plan for layoffs across Warner Bros. Discovery’s major divisions were signaled late last year when the company faced extreme financial pressure amid rising losses from its streaming operations and the weakening macroeconomy. WBD’s domestic cable channels — including Discovery, TNT, TBS, TLC, HGTV, Food Network and CNN — were once the envy of the industry in terms of viewership and profitability. But the fast-changing pay TV marketplace and the rise of on-demand streaming has upended the reliable cable TV earnings power that made the former Time Warner a dynamo in the 1990s and early 2000s.
We’ve seen cuts from big tech companies, and in the wake of big cuts at entertainment rivals like Disney, who cut 7,000 jobs, WBD is the latest to cut roles. It’ll be interesting to see if there is any sort of larger fallout in the industry or bad PR that comes from these cuts — in the wake of the writer’s strike, there haven’t been many positives in the public eye for large studios recently.
4. How about some good news?
- The first-ever X-ray of a single atom was captured
- A patch to combat peanut allergies showed promise in studies with toddlers
- The U.S. government is giving away a few lighthouses for free
- Ragan Training is great for communications pros to find inspiration and resources.
- You should be rewarded for your work. Find out how to earn an award here!
Have a great weekend comms all-stars!
Sean Devlin is an editor at Ragan Communications. In his spare time he enjoys Philly sports, a good pint and ’90s trivia night.