Communicating Organizational Change


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Anne Smith presented "Communicating Organization Change" to the NE Wisconsin PRSA chapter.

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  • We worked with HR and our executive team on additional activities throughout the process, including:HR offered manager training on change management Developed recruiter talking points for prospective employeesPosted ongoing communication through executive updates and the Q&A site to communicate status of the transaction
  • In our March quarterly newsletter we ran several stories, including a profile of QBE and coverage of the January agent reception (for agents who couldn’t attend). We included quotes from agents who had good things to say about the new ownership. (Of course, it helped that they knew our ownership was uncertain for months and they felt that this was the best outcome considering the rumors they were hearing.)
  • Communicating Organizational Change

    1. 1. A corporate acquisition
    2. 2. We know thatcommunication is aproblem, but thecompany is not goingto discuss it with theemployees.
    3. 3.  Provide a framework for approaching significant change Share tactical ideas Learn from experience
    4. 4. Swissowners…
    5. 5.  Swiss banking parent since 1997 Purchase by global insurer “Under strategic review”
    6. 6. …toAussieowners
    7. 7.  Prepare Engage Monitor
    8. 8.  Best practices in change communication (Ragan, PRSA seminars) External research (Davis & Co., Watson Wyatt, Towers Perrin) Existing company data – employee surveys, market analysis, customer metrics
    9. 9. Employee perceptions Grapevine is most reliable
    10. 10.  Employees want information. Information helps employees contribute. Employees value honest, transparent communication.
    11. 11.  What do you want to achieve? ◦ Know? ◦ Believe? ◦ Do? How do you want to achieve?
    12. 12.  Educate and inform employees to minimize anxiety Build support for the change so employees would continue to contribute at a high level Help employees focus on positive to maintain brand reputation and “business as usual”
    13. 13.  Announce first to stakeholders Communicate openly, honestly, timely and consistently Use face-to-face communication and executive visibility Use electronic communication as a secondary channel to reach everyone quickly Proactively identify and address concerns throughout process
    14. 14.  Think creatively Define all activities Identify resource needs Determine who’s responsible
    15. 15.  Executive buy-in Management team awareness Mid-level manager expectations Employees as ambassadors
    16. 16.  Assess the hallway chatter Document employee feedback Debrief internally and above Talk to HR Online quick polls
    17. 17.  Messaging - informative, reassuring, forward-focused Strategic review” updates Executive briefing by teleconference “Day of” employee announcement ◦ broadcast voicemail ◦ E-mail ◦ intranet executive memo “Day after” meetings led by department managers for follow-up discussion
    18. 18. Personalinterview withQBE CEO foremployeeintranet
    19. 19. Story and “todo” list forbrand identitychanges
    20. 20. Managertraining Ongoing executive updatesRecruitertalking points
    21. 21.  Regional VP phone calls Bulletin announcement Agent breakfast with QBE CEO Newsletter articles Annual report with content about sale Executive road shows for agencies Talking points for field reps Information on discarding old branded materials
    22. 22. Released at close
    23. 23. Courtesy calls to stateregulators Customer letter template for agents BillCSR talking points stuffer
    24. 24.  Coverage content analysis Employee turnover ratio Agent quoting Customer retention Q&A response time Event attendance Field office participation Anecdotal comments Office vibe
    25. 25.  Start early Develop a plan format Implement approval process Encourage management visibility Make face-to-face a priority Use multiple communication channels Don’t forget your remote staff
    26. 26.  Build executive trust Partner with HR Give employees avenues to share concerns Have a Plan B for leaks Use informal networks to gauge reaction Keep communicating Don’t ask for permission Measure everything you can De-brief and report on results
    27. 27.  Visible executives, transparent communication is key Employee concerns/issues should be managed Cheerlead, but don’t spin Focus employees on actionable goals and good customer service Utilize employee ambassadors Offer self-help tools to reduce stress
    28. 28. Anne M. Smith, APRAccount ExecutiveC. Blohm & Assoc.anne@cblohm.com608.216.7300 Ext. 22