HSBC Exchange Communication Essay Example
The article written by Marc Wright entitled “HSBC trades top down for listening” is written in response to the change in communication practices throughout the firm in 2012. HSBC is a London based multinational banking and financial services company and it is the second largest bank in the world, serving over 51 million individuals. The purpose of the article is to explain the new method of communication the company is employing within their company. Traditional top down management which is what the firm had operated under previously prevented the continuous flow of information up and down the hierarchy of the firm and that can create gaps between what needs to be done and what actually occurs. Pierre Goad is the co-head of communications at HSBC and did not like the current communication system the company had so he helped completely revolutionized it. HBSC now employs an “exchange” method of communication between management and employees.
The exchange method is based around the concept of open and honest communication from employees on the front lines back to their managers. This allows new ideas and everyday problems to be addressed openly and with no ridicule. Managers take groups of about ten employees into a conference room and they talk about anything and everything while the manager simply listens, gaining insight into how his employees think and what will make the firm better from their perspectives. The head of Employee Communications for Global Banking and Markets says that “Senior managers get new insight into problems they were unaware of -- or discover what they thought they had fixed 18 months ago is still broken. If they don’t walk out laughing, they walk out crying as they can barely believe what they have heard.” The new method allows employees a voice in how the company is run and prompts greater commitment because of it. The strategy was implemented in response to issues arising among the firms 259,000 employees along with compliance issues that cost the Bank 1.9 billion in 2012.(Wright)
Personally I find that this method of open communication could probably be successfully implemented in nearly any industry. It allows employees an outlet for the frustrations they face while allowing them to also highlight anything that the company is doing exceptionally well in their opinion. It makes it easier for employees to speak openly to their managers on a daily basis and it teaches the managers how to simply sit and listen, a very beneficial skill in management. I would guess that it would also allow managers to spot employees that might have the potential to be successful managers themselves and it may prompt within-firm promotions. At the lowest level, employees are dealing directly with the public and that drives every aspect of the business. Ignoring what front-line employees feel is important to their ability to do their jobs successful is foolish, no matter what industry you are in. This article shows a modern communications strategy being implemented in an extremely large firm and because of its prominence the success of the model may prompt other large firms to follow suit.
Wright, Marc. "HSBC Exchanges Top down for Listening." HSBC Exchanges Top down for Listening. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2015.