Communicating Organizational Change
The client is a world leader in prepared meal manufacturing, with a large and diverse employee population - representing over 60 nations and speaking more than 50 languages – at multiple locations.
The client was preparing to communicate a variety of corporate changes to all employees. The demographic and cultural diversity of the employees the complexity of the forthcoming changes in nature, and past experience suggested the need for a carefully crafted internal communications plan that would ensure that employees fully understood the changes. Further challenges were presented by a linguistic policy that encouraged dissemination of information in only one language and disparate cultural opinions about the communications subject matter.
Crescendo Consulting Group was hired by the organization to help guide the employee communications process. Crescendo worked closely with the client to develop and facilitate a series focus groups - at multiple locations, with multiple shifts and department - to discover the employees’ preferences for methods and channels for delivering the messages. Additionally, the focus groups would examine existing opinions regarding the proposed changes, ways to ensure that the changes would be accepted with a positive opinion by employees, and cultural differences in understanding. Upon completion of the employee groups, Crescendo aggregated the information into a simple report to guide management through communicating the changes to employees.
The research and recommendations led to the organization changing the communications timeframe, managerial involvement, messages, and channels from past efforts. The employee suggestions uncovered in the focus groups also led to the client better understanding how culture affected the transition and offered additional education and messaging around the subject matter to respond to these differences. The efforts resulted in an employee-created campaign that was well received by the organization.
Furthermore, the company was able to use the employees involved in the focus groups on an ongoing basis to further develop and shape future messaging because of the ‘fun’ that they reported having in the groups. The employee communications methods used resulted in a smooth transition, a paradigm shift, and a communications campaign that was well understood. Components of the campaign have continued, and the repetition has resulted in greater awareness and understanding.