Communication at Microsoft Services Asia
The global financial crisis of 2009 affected Microsoft’s business adversely, with the services business in Asia contracting by more than 20%. As a result, there was a major re-organisation at Microsoft Services Asia in July 2009. Headcount was cut by 20% in a first ever company-wide reduction-in-force. Change management during the reduction-in-force was executed swiftly. Information about the organisational restructure and affected employees was tightly controlled. Morale was low; there was little communication from senior leadership, and three area general managers were replaced from outside Microsoft.
In January 2010, Cassandra Lee is appointed director of marketing communications of Microsoft Services Asia. She is tasked to develop a plan to address employee morale and engagement. Case A provides an opportunity for readers to use their creativity in developing an effective change management plan to address employee morale, and align employees with the new services mission, in which effective communication and community building are critical components for success.
Case B follows Case A, where Cassandra Lee, the director of marketing communications of Microsoft Services Asia is tasked to develop a plan to address employee morale and engagement.
In this case, the primary issue centres on how a leader can take an organisation to the next level by setting a big, bold and aspirational goal. This case encourages discussion not only on the importance of clearly communicating the goal to every employee, but also that strategies and initiatives have to be put in place to focus employees to shoot collectively for a common and significant goal.
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