A large, national provider of home health care services was updating its technology systems and processes to operate more efficiently in the face of changing industry regulations. As a result, it planned to close multiple office locations across the country, eliminating jobs and realigning workloads for its remaining employees. The company sought to develop an internal communications program that would foster employee productivity, engagement and retention during this transition — ensuring there would be no business interruptions.
Strategy & Tactics
Before developing a communications plan, Lovell surveyed the company’s 2,500 employees to understand their internal communications preferences and perceptions. Through the electronic survey, Lovell identified:
- The best communication vehicles for reaching employees with important information
- When employees were most likely to be paying attention to company information
- Employees’ current understanding of industry dynamics and the company’s strategic initiatives around efficiency
- Perceptions of communication between direct managers and employees and between corporate leaders and employees
Lovell leveraged this information to develop a detailed communications plan that contemplated a steady cadence of internal communication about (1) why the company needed to become more efficient, (2) the changes it was making to become more efficient, and (3) how becoming more efficient would ultimately benefit the company and the patients it served. The plan called for at least weekly communication — via email, intranet and team calls/meetings — in the months leading up to the office closures.
Company leaders developed understanding and trust among employees. When the time came to announce the office closures, there was no backlash or business interruption as employees had acquired an understanding of the importance of efficiency to their future. The company as able to successfully wind down operations at its closing offices, transfer employees and work functions to its remaining locations and achieve its goal of more efficient operations.