Page 2: Business television
Satellite based television networks for individual businesses are now affordable due to technological advances. Business television programmes originate from a television studio and are then fed to a satellite. The signal is sent back to earth to satellite dishes on individual buildings and displayed on a monitor, in a similar way to domestic television. To prevent unauthorised viewing, signals are scrambled or encrypted. Halifax’s programmes are normally ‘one-way’ but can be interactive with live ‘phone-in’ debates. The great benefit of business television for Halifax is its ability to help staff improve their understanding and awareness of business issues by providing:
- immediacy - broadcasts are timed to deliver information as it becomes available
- explanation - company ‘experts’ can explain decisions or events to all staff simultaneously
- increased impact - television, as everyone knows, is a very powerful medium
- interaction - staff can access senior managers during live question and answer broadcasts
- selectivity - specific groups can be sent tailor-made messages.
Business television is not a new concept. It originally found favour among the large dispersed companies of North America. Pioneers in the field included the electronics giant Hewlett-Packard and the brokerage house Merrill Lynch. Business television provides the ability to communicate directly without the information becoming diluted as it flows down the management chain. It is well known that the spoken word is much more effective than print. Rockwell International, who also use business television, argue that it binds together a large company, creating a culture which makes staff feel closer to each other. For staff, instant feedback can be sought and received, making the individual feel more involved in the organisation, rather than the recipient of just another memo.
The Halifax’s mission is to become the UK’s leading provider of personal financial services. To support this mission, senior management identified various activities in which the Halifax had to excel. Halifax Television (HTV) makes a vital contribution to the achievement of these goals. As a result HTV is not seen simply as ‘nice to have’ but something which plays a part in business success.