In my last post, I discussed why you should have open communication with your employees during a business sale. Now, we'll tell you what we did when we were in that situation.
So here's what we did:
1. Managing talent - create a hook
Our Founder (and then CEO) Glenn Elliott, gave a presentation at one of our quarterly Global Business Updates where he shared actual stories of how employees had progressed over the previous five-year cycle, inspiring employees to see what their future at RG may hold.
2. Global briefings - share the information
Our in-house fun and light-hearted TV programs were used throughout to update employees on Project Solar. Staff are used to seeing content in this medium so we used something they would be comfortable with to communicate updates.
3. Videos - showing them the whites of our eyes
A "crew" followed the leadership team throughout the whole process, clearly explaining things in an open and honest manner, e.g. our "Man behind the suit’"video showed interviews with potential investors. These videos showed our employees the human being behind the investor title and helped our employees relate to them more.
4. Use our existing communication tools - keep the process familiar
One of the communication campaign key messages was that all employees would benefit as part of this investment cycle through the employee share ownership plan. Each employee received a personalized share letter showing exactly how they’d benefit from this investment.
2. Meet the investor video
When Great Hill Partners L.P. was chosen as the new investor, a video was created showing interviews with their team, having them candidly talk about who they were and why they were excited to be working with RG.
3. Celebration party
We wrapped up the nine-month project with a celebration party in each of our seven offices globally so everyone could share in our success. This also gave a sense of closure and allowed us to plan for the next stage of growth in the business.
Was it a success?
We think it has been a resounding success in demystifying the events surrounding the investment by ensuring employees were communicated with in a way that made a difficult subject clearer and easier to understand.
By being 100% open and transparent and keeping employees informed meant we were able to connect employees with what was happening and how the project was progressing.
Our end of project survey demonstrates this involvement:
95% said that they felt more connected to and understood the business better at the end of the process.
92.7% said they understood the decisions the leadership team made throughout the process.
92.7% said they felt informed about what was happening overall.
Set out your plan:
1. We implemented creative channels to engage our employees in the investment process, making use of already developed and popular channels and innovating new ideas.
This then delivered:
2. A workforce highly engaged in not just the project but the business too, with almost all employees (95%) saying they felt more connected to and understood the business better at the end of the process.
3. We retained all our key talent and even increased our workforce along the way!
A great success and one I would encourage everyone to use as an ideas base if they are faced with the same challenges.