Maintaining Enthusiasm – The Role of Internal Communication During Perfect’s Transition
An Internal Communications Plan Has Buoyed Employee Morale During Perfect’s Transition Phase
By Joe Olivo
One of the greatest experiences I have as a small-business owner is when a visitor to our facility compliments me on our organizational culture at the end of their tour. Our current and potential print and marketing clients often comment that they can sense the enthusiasm of the Perfect employees they come in contact with during their visit. This is something I take great pride in. I believe the enthusiasm our visitors witness is genuine and a true part of our culture, which values every employee.
As Perfect embarked on our transition from printer to full-service marketing communications provider earlier this year, one of the challenges I had was to make sure our employees’ enthusiasm continued. Many of our employees have been with Perfect for 15 to 20 years. Most have been involved with the printing side of our business during their entire tenure. I had to make sure every employee knew that this transition was a natural part of the evolution of our business and the growth would benefit everyone. While the marketing and communications services we now provide may seem different from how ink is put to paper, in the end, Perfect is still helping companies improve their communications to meet business objectives. While our name change officially occurred on April 1st of this year, the effort to communicate with our employees about the evolution started well before that.
To ensure we effectively communicated about the transition we joomla_4eloped an internal communications plan prior to executing our name change. Key elements of the plan included selecting the appropriate communication channel, communicating openly and honestly with the team, and gathering feedback during implementation.
Because of the nature of how and where most of our employees work, I felt it was important that they primarily receive information directly from me. Many of our employees aren’t in front of a computer during the day so e-mail and social media are not effective for us internally. We need to communicate face-to-face, so we instituted quarterly all-staff meetings. At these meetings, key stakeholders in our transition process speak to staff to explain what is occurring and discuss the goals of the transition strategy. Although we also communicate internally with a newsletter and the periodic memo, these all-staff meetings have proven to be a very reliable way to reach our entire team.
Another key aspect of our internal communication plan is communicating openly. We need to keep messages concise and on point. We also want to deliver all news, both good and bad. Recently, I learned that we could possibly lose a project that is a significant part of our business. I communicated this news to our employees directly at one of our all-staff meetings. While no one likes hearing bad news, I felt it was better for our team to hear this directly from me. Speaking directly to the employees let me communicate that this possible loss of business was in no way related to our transition. If anything, it underscored the importance of the evolution we’re pursuing to offer a wider range of valuable services to our clients.
The last element of our current internal communication plan is soliciting feedback from our employees. Our staff is encouraged to offer feedback and ask questions, even about areas or topics they may not be directly involved with. This has helped create buy-in and support for the transition efforts. It has also helped me identify internal brand ambassadors who I did not realize embraced change so willingly.
Overseeing Perfect’s journey from printer to a full-service marketing communications company has been an enlightening experience. The importance of an effective internal communications plan is clear to me today; it can pay significant dividends if done correctly. While our current efforts are still in the early phases, they have allowed our staff to better understand how our organization is evolving. This has resulted in continued employee enthusiasm and increased employee performance. I’m confident this will mean continued compliments from our client visitors about the energy of the Perfect employees.
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