Concordia International provides a good example of a company that has adjusted well to the changing needs for communication . since 1995 , Concordia has been turned inside-out and upside-down, to ensure that it is a marketing –led, customer-responsive business, one that looks outwards at customers and competitors, rather than inwards at its own processes and the way things were done in the past. In the last eight years, Concordia has reduced its workforce by more than 80.000 people - or 35% -on a voluntary basis, with further downsizing anticipated.
From being an engineering company, Concordia is now remaking itself as a service company. The role of employee communication in such a context is to build people’s self-confidence, to persuade them that, although it is inevitable that the changes will go ahead, they also bring with them new opportunities for employees. However, this is not an easy task. People tend to be skeptical of these claims and to feel that they are losing touch with the company they have worked for over many years. This is understandable, since many of the old certainties are being swept away , including the core activities of the company they work for. Above all , they have had to face up to the fact that they no longer have a job for life.
Research indicates that people respond to this predicament in a variety of ways. The bulk of employees fall into two main categories in terms of their response to the new situation: on the one hand there are the “ pragmatists” and on the other “ the highly anxious” the former see their job as a means to an end and have a relatively short-term perspective, with strong loyalty to their local term , rather than the company as a whole . The second category, usually the majority, may respond to threatened changes with a feeling of having been let down, and even feel anger at the company for what they see as changing the terms of their employment.
` The employee communication process needs to be capable of accurately directing its messages at a variety of employee groups and departments within the workforce . this is why middle managers and line managers are so key to communication. They are the people who know about the full rage of concerns among the workforce. The problem in the past was that this crucial area was often the responsibility of a separate, relatively isolated unit. Concordia puts responsibility for communication firmly on line managers. All their research points to the same conclusion: people prefer to get their information face-to-face from their line managers. That is the key relationship and where arguments and hearts and minds –are lost.
The general rule in company communication is to tell employees as much as you can as soon as you can. If you can’t provide details, then at least put the news in context and commit yourself to providing greater detail when it becomes available another rule of company communication is that there must be a fit between what the company is telling its employees and what it is telling its shareholders.15 In the last eight years, Concordia has
15A made over 80.000 employees reduncdant
B completed a period of downsizing
C reduced its workforce of 80.000 by 35%
D given 35% of departing employees voluntary redundancy
16 From Concordia’s point of view, the role of communication is to
A win employee support before going ahead with the changes
B change the company’s core activities.
C emphasise the positive aspects of the changes
D explain the need for the changes
17 what does research show about most employees’ response to change?
A they expect it to have a bad effect on the company
B they feel completely powerless
C they become less loyal
D they fell they have been treated unfairly
18 Concordia’s communication process mainly relies on
A printed communication
B departmental heads
C personal communication
D a separate, specialized unit
19 According to the writer, what is the guiding principle about giving information within an organization?
A Never make promises about future developments
B Give people an overall view at the earliest possible stage
C always include plenty of hard information
D Hold back until all the details can be provided
20 which of the following would be the most suitable title for the article?
A employee attitudes to company communication
B making company communication more effective
C Researching company commmucation
D Making employees feel less powerless
15题，答案很明显，但是选项很有迷惑性。答案是第二段的最后一句：In the last eight years, Concordia has reduced its workforce by more than 80.000 people - or 35% -on a voluntary basis, with further downsizing anticipated.减少了80000员工(或者说减少了35%的员工)，预期还会减少更多。A选项是对的，made redundant是前面某套题目阅读的第五部分考过的词组;B不对，没有完成(completed)，因为预期还会裁减更多(with further downsizing anticipated);C也不对，迷惑性最大，reduced its workforce of 80.000，用了介词of，所以这句的意思是一共就80000员工，而实际情况是减少了80000员工;D不对，35%的员工被裁减，都是在自愿的基础上的，而不是离开的人中有35%是自愿的。
16题，问根据此人的观点，沟通的角色是什么。也就是问沟通的目的或者作用是什么。答案在第三段。沟通是为了帮助人树立自信，说服他们虽然要面临一些变化，但是同样也会拥有一些新的机会。说白了，就是鼓励这些被裁的人。答案选C，强调变化的积极方面。这里的positive aspects是对前面说的bring with them new opportunities的一个概括。(想起了电影《在云端》，up in the air，里面那个老男人的工作就是职业裁员专家，专门对被裁的人说些这样的话。)
17题，问调查显示大多数人对change的反应是什么。这题在答案中也很明显，但是选项很纠结。都有点似是而非。The second category, usually the majority, may respond to threatened changes with a feeling of having been let down.,and even feel anger at the company for what they see as changing the terms of their employment.大多数员工的反应就是很失望，甚至会很愤怒。个人觉得这题出的不够严谨，没有哪个选项能严格从原文中提炼出来。对比下D要好点，因为对公司失望和愤怒，就是觉得受到了不公正的待遇。此题有待高手补充更完美的理由。
18题，问沟通过程主要依赖于什么。答案是第五段的这句：people prefer to get their information face-to-face from their line managers。喜欢面对面的从直属经理那里获取信息。所以选C，个人的交流。
19题，问组织内部提供信息的指导准则是什么。最后一段的第一句就是：The general rule in company communication is to tell employees as much as you can as soon as you can。尽可能的快，尽可能的多。不能提供细节的，至少给个大致的背景消息(put the news in context)。时机成熟了，再告知更多。选B：在可能的最早的阶段让人有个总体的印象。