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
A corporate acquisition
We know thatcommunication is aproblem, but thecompany is not goingto discuss it with theemployees.
Provide a framework for approaching significant change Share tactical ideas Learn from experience
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
Employee perceptions Grapevine is most reliable
Employees want information. Information helps employees contribute. Employees value honest, transparent communication.
What do you want to achieve? ◦ Know? ◦ Believe? ◦ Do? How do you want to achieve?
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”
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
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
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
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
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
Anne M. Smith, APRAccount ExecutiveC. Blohm & Assoc.email@example.com Ext. 22