Zero-Hours Contracts and Internal Comms

contract sign 85630846A study this week suggested that a million workers in the United Kingdom are on zero-hours contracts, under which people are not guaranteed work from one week to the next.

Quite aside from the moral issues surrounding this turn of events, there is a real challenge for communications professionals if big companies have a small army of workers who may not be required for weeks on end.

Internal comms planning usually begins – understandably – with a premise that at some point employees will be in contact with their managers, or the organisation as a whole. True, there are challenges around communicating with disparate and diverse audiences but it’s kind of taken as read that these workers will be approachable in some form.

If, however, they may be at home for large periods of time without actually going into work, that presents a different challenge.

One challenge is getting to them – do you send communication to their home address or wait for them to actually come into the workplace (a problem if the information is time criticial)?

Or, and here’s the bigger dilemma, do you simply not communicate with them at all? There is a school of thought which says that given they may not have much loyalty to their (part-time) employers, is it worth spending time and money trying to engage them?

Or as internal communicators, is it our duty to reach out to this section of our audience, engage them as best we can and make them feel part of our organisation, no matter how few hours they work?

Over to you!