A clear example of the perils of seeking publicity around what would be seen (at first glance) as a morale-raising initiative and then having it backfire when the terms and conditions of that initiative aren’t made entirely clear – either to employees or to the media.
While National Semiconductor spokeswoman LuAnn Jenkins is quoted as saying “they were not a gift,” and that “we were very careful on the language we used talking about it,” the real question, in my view, is whether they were careful enough with respect to the language they used in communicating this initiative to their own employees.
It would seem not.
When you read the release, what would you think? Is it a business tool, reward, or both?
“Our employees were vital contributors to our most successful year in National’s 47-year history, and we wanted to equip them with the tools to help us create more value for our customers,” said Halla. “The Apple iPod exemplifies the next stage of the consumer electronics revolution as content such as downloadable music, movies and digital photos –as well as a compelling user experience– takes center stage. And, it’s analog that makes the difference. This is where National, and our employees, deliver value to our customers.”