Employee Communication: 3
Ways To Create Transformation In Organizations
There are two distinct ways to
use employee communication; one is to inform employees about what is
happening in an organization, the other is to engage employees in the
process of change. In this article we are going to highlight 3 case
studies that demonstrate clearly the different techniques and approaches
to ensure that your employee communication strategies bring about
transformation in your organization.
Employee Communication Case
At this telecommunications manufacturing plant, the company decided
to involve employees in the organizational changes that were taking
place. The company is involved in high technology and has approximately
1,900 employees. After a senior management workshop it was decided that
a customer service change program be developed.
One of the methods introduced
was the round table concept. The communications team organized for 18
people from a specific area to have a 90 minute meeting with senior
managers. However, the key to the success of these meetings was that
the employees did most of the talking and the senior managers, most of
the listening. The organization planned to learn from these meetings
what the barriers were to success and customer satisfaction. Over a 10
week period, 50 round tables were scheduled. At the completion of this
exercise, approximately one third of the total of the organization's
workforce were involved in the round tables. Participants in the round
table program were selected from every employment level with a balanced
representation of gender and race.
Patterns in the issues that were
raised began to emerge and senior management began to take notice of
what were to become the main elements of the customer service change
program. What was critical with this approach was that soon after the
round table program of 10 weeks, employees began to actually see their
suggestions adopted, and changes taking place. To supplement the face to
face meetings with managers, a bi-weekly newsletter was produced. Each
issue was 2 pages in length and included a dedicated space for employees
to make suggestions to managers for improvement in customer service.
Employee Communication Case
This hospital wanted to cut costs and at the same time ensure that
patients were not adversely impacted by the changes. It was also a major
provider of healthcare in a small community so it was essential that the
reputation of high quality care was not reduced.
So they sought feedback using
focus groups, telephone surveys and also contacting the caregivers.
Three key attributes in patient care came up as the main contributors to
patient satisfaction. The hospital staff concentrated on improving these
3 areas whilst still reducing costs. Cross functional teams were
established with employees volunteering to take part. An employee with
strong project management skills was selected to lead each team. A list
of options to improve the experience of the patients was presented to
management with details of costings and timeframes for implementation.
Agreement was reached on the changes and the senior management team
ensured line managers were not blockers to the changes.
Employee Communication Case
The main objective of this strategy was to educate staff in reading
and understanding the company financial statements and how they directly
related to the work that they were doing. The other minor objective was
the need for employees in other departments to understand how what they
did impacted on the remainder of the organization and the bottom line.
Employees from all areas were
encouraged to review the company books and financial statements. An
extension of this policy was to talk with all employees in groups and
discuss what the figures meant, specifically how they related to the
work that they were doing and then to the big picture of the
organization's profitability. The strategy was more than an attempt to
educate the workforce; rather it focused on action plans when the
budgets and finances were off course for their particular area. The
staff would then look at their operations and how they could do things
differently to remedy the situation.
This method included training on
understanding financial reports, which has the benefit not only of
learning how to read the financial statements of the organization but
also what action the team in each department could take to change the
financial outcomes. Copies of the financial statements were distributed
to employees once there was recognition that they would understand what
was being conveyed.
By understanding and teaching employees the direct
relationship between their work and the financial results of the
organization they are more inclined to understand the message.
Finally, the role of the
communicator is to ensure that all employees have understood the key
message and that it means something to them. Employee communication is
all about using a variety of methods and techniques to ensure that no
matter how complex, long term or risky the message is, the desired
outcome for the organization will be achieved. Employee engagement and
employee communication are uniquely connected and by combining the two
outstanding results can be achieved.
is a recognized authority on the subject on employee communication and
business transformation and has spoken at conferences around the world.
For more information on the types of employee communication strategies
you can implement to engage employees visit
http://www.employeecommunicationtips.com for a wealth of free
informative articles and resources.