During a merger and acquisition, one aspect of the transition that is often overlooked by large corporations is an effective communication strategy to their frontline employees, which can often lead to feelings of uncertainty, confusion in their roles, and a decrease in company morale.
According to a recent report published by Deloitte, 75 percent of corporate executives and private equity investors expect that deal activity will increase in 2017, with 64 percent of those surveyed expecting larger deals. Based on reports that large corporations including Macy’s and Dish have been in discussions about takeovers, they could be adding some validity to those predictions early on in the year.
Jeff Corbin, CEO and founder of APPrise Mobile, spent 20 years as an executive in the corporate communications industry, but then saw a larger need for solutions that solve specific communications challenges that industry professionals deal with on an everyday basis. He spoke with CR Magazine about these challenges and solutions.
CR Magazine: Can you give some best practices for an effective communications strategy—among senior level executives and to employees?
Jeff Corbin: Effective communication is all about transparency and the personal touch. Providing just the right amount of information on a relatively frequent basis and doing so in a way in which employees “feel the love” can go a long way. This is especially important during times of change within an organization.
CR: How can leadership effectively engage and communicate with employees during transitional periods?
JC: During transitional periods, the most important thing is to be consistent in the way in which you are communicating. If e-mail is the primary communications method, then sharing frequent emails on what is taking place is key. However, as stated above, the personal touch is critical. Live events (town hall meetings), webcasts of the events, video archives and short CEO vlogs go a long way towards engaging with employees and are a great bang for the buck.
CR: How does an effective communications process tie into corporate responsibility?
JC: Your employees are your most important audience. They are your ambassadors who carry your organization’s key messages to all external audiences. It’s the responsibility of corporate to ensure that the message does not get muddied or confused as a result of ineffective communications.
CR: What are the benefits to using an app like APPrise Mobile when running a business?
JC: These days, pretty much everyone has an Apple or Android mobile device, and these devices are very personal to them. theEMPLOYEEapp allows a company to accomplish all of the things mentioned above. It allows for the instantaneous push of information and control of messaging to all employees no matter where they are located, and even supports videos and live events so that employees can feel connected with corporate even if they are not sitting at headquarters. It also centralizes communications so employees have all key messages at their fingertips 24/7. For front-line employees in particular who don’t work in an office environment (which happens to be 80 percent of the overall workforce), it allows for them to feel a part of a corporate community.
CR: Why is technology so important in effective communications today?
JC: Same answer as the one above. Everyone has a mobile device. Never before has an organization had such an opportunity to get information and control its messaging simultaneously, instantaneously, and effectively to their entire workforce.