Maintaining that same level of honesty as the company grew...
Even in situations where most outsiders wouldn’t practice completely open and honest communication, we still believe it is always the best policy. When we were in the process of selling RG to Great Hill Partners, we kept our employees informed throughout the entire process - just as we did with the sale to Inflexion. When we know we will be making departmental and organisational changes, we tell employees ahead of time.
Not everyone believes our decision to do that is wise. They may believe that telling someone that their role will change or be eliminated in time may cause that person to leave. But who is to say that won’t happen anyway? It’s better practice to be honest and give them the option. In our experience, most people stay on and help with the transition; they do not resent us, and they do not prematurely leave.
But as we grew, we had to change our methods. We couldn’t relay messages to everyone in the company as easily anymore. So what did we do? We hired someone wonderful called Catrin who works hard to maintain our communications on all our internal news. She collects updates from the Leadership Team every week which she posts on our company intranet, for all our internal communications and employee perks. Every two weeks, there is a new “global briefing,” which is a newscast-style recording that relays all updates on product and people in the company, as well as some entertaining bits including the monthly staff lottery drawing. And at the end of each quarter, we release and explain the financial stats from the quarter.
Twice a year, we host the Global Business Update (GBU), our all-staff biannual conference. It’s held in London, but we stream it to our offices in Bulgaria and Sydney, so everyone watches at the same time as a team. The leadership team and other staff make presentations to keep everyone up to date on current business, and someone is interviewed without having first had access to the questions to ensure an honest and unrehearsed answer.
We are in the age of social media, so we also set up a private Facebook and a private Instagram. Your people will have different social media favourites and you should let them choose the one that they want. We also have a weekly email, and next we’re looking at Snapchat - don’t be shocked, The White House is already using SnapChat!