Opening a new facility? Keen to rally your employees and other stakeholders on this news?
Opening an office is an excellent opportunity to connect with your stakeholders, share progress, revisit your current set of processes, involve staff and improve your brand recall.
Here are a few pointers to think of the value your communication plan and messages can add:
Clarify the need: Most often we lean towards a press release or a leadership message that conveys this news. However, it helps to identify the current state of business and map your messages in line with how your organization is perceived either in the city or the country where the new office is opening. Is the new office bringing your organization closer to clients? Does it allow employees to get closer to their families? Is it helping the organization build a brand? Is the office meant to increase your credibility and expertise with say, research and development?
Have a clear strategy: The office opening can mean different things to different stakeholders. Make your staff part of the conversation. Brief leaders on the business development and frame it in the context of the organization’s expansion plans. Allow employees to have a say in small and large decisions. My recommendation is for a 4 pronged strategy – Tell, Sell, Involve and Co-Create. You will still need to inform stakeholders on your organization’s intentions. It is also possible that you want them to focus on specific reasons for opening this new facility – lower costs, improved productivity, greater access to clients and business among others. Give them an opportunity to create or co-create standards and feel ownership of the new workplace. It can be simple policies or processes that you are replicating for this new office but can be tweaked given the nature of the location or the environment. Is it possible to have employees be part of the future plans?
Build a platform: Identify key leaders or employees who be the community owners on your intranet. Invite employees who have an interest in the new office or location to share their views and build connections. It can be possible that some staff want to relocate. It may also be a need for some to pick up jobs which open up with the new facility. This office may possibly be the start of something larger. For example, you may want to convert the office into a regional hub or can be adding more offerings for clients. It may be a center of excellence for solutions that your organization plans to implement. If you have that picture already in mind, share with your staff.
Start with the basics: Think of all the potential questions employees may have about the new office. In terms of infrastructure, the operations, their workplace, transport, cafeteria etc. Create a set of FAQs that can be hosted on your intranet for reference. Point them to key leaders who can provide more context. Invite employees to share stories, experiences and photographs of the new office.
Opportunity to spread the good news: Add this update to your social media vehicles and invite employees to spread the word among their families and friends. Use this news in your recruitment marketing channels. If there are unique aspects of the new office or location that is a draw among people then do surface it in your communication.
Have other ideas? Do share them here.