Look at the bulletin board. There's nothing here. No announcements, no statements. It's your worst nightmare. Classic management technique."
So declares an employee in a scene from "The Grapevine," the newest video from comedian John Cleese's Video Arts training company. Believing that he and his department are about to lose their jobs, this employee spreads his panic to his coworkers, and eventually even to departments that have been informed about their company's plans. Employees begin thinking that, even though they've been told their jobs are safe, they've got it wrong.
Clear, open, regular communication with all employees is the only way to keep gossip from running rampant, the video teaches. It's a lesson insurers should pay attention to. With many companies still in the midst of mergers and restructurings, company briefings ought to be a regular feature of office life. If they're not, this video (which comes with a discussion booklet and guide) shows what your company is putting at risk--its best employees, who might jump ship, and the motivation and loyalty of the staff as a whole. Call Video Arts at (800) 553-0091.