For investor relations professionals, we highlight the latest NIRI survey which discusses recent trends in communications practices during quiet periods and trading blackouts. While some stats may not be surprising (e.g., 99% of 2015 respondents’ companies have a trading blackout period), there are some others that might grab your attention.
For corporate communications, internal communications and HR professionals, our Water Cooler column discusses the latest Gallup Organization employee engagement study and offers food for thought on one of the great challenges facing our profession – employee communications.
We hope you are enjoying Mobile Mindshare. With the warm weather approaching, the time might be right to plan a Spring fling or consider ways to connect with your most important audiences via the one thing they all have in common – their Apple and Android devices. If you have any areas of mobile communications that you would like for us to cover in the coming months, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To keep up to date on even more news, industry updates and mobile trends, we also encourage you continue reading below.
Founder and CEO, APPrise Mobile
Examining Trends for Public Company Quiet Periods
A NIRI survey recently published found that 85% of public companies have a quiet period in which they do not communicate with investors. However, it is a formal policy for only 50% of companies. Additionally, 68% of respondents said that the company trading blackout period is longer than 30 business days.
For more information on the NIRI Trading Blackouts and Quiet Periods Survey, click here.
Communicating strategy – Not just a “one and done”
For most companies, the first of the year is a time to rally the troops – a time to get laser focused on the company’s strategy and a natural time to communicate annual goals and the role individuals, teams and organizations play in bringing that strategy to life.
Sound familiar? I hope so. In fact, I love the sense of systems and renewal within the seasons society has engrained in us. Every January feels like a fresh start – an opportunity to hover up to the ‘big picture’ and set a roadmap for the year ahead.
That said, all too often the “big push” for strategy communications comes early and often in the beginning of the year – the email from the CEO outlining the strategy, the brand-new intranet page with the supporting detail, and the cascading of performance goals and measures throughout the organization. While these activities are mission-critical for setting the baseline, communicating company strategy is an evolving, engaging, and multi-channeled experience – more like a constant and consistent conversation vs. a “one and done” approach.
Once the strategy is rolled out and the goals are set, it’s about tending the fire and making it real. Along the way, you have to help people see themselves in the strategy – empowering them to contribute to the whole, trusting their intelligence, and highlighting proof points in a consistent and multi-dimensional way.
How? Keep these guiding principles in mind:
Leverage social and mobile to keep the conversation alive. Many companies are moving towards social and mobile-first intranets and applications – allowing instant communication outside the clutter of day-to-day email. Mobile-first applications can also provide leaders and communicators a curated experience (e.g., targeting by role, function or location) and guide them toward parts of a strategy or a conversation that are most relevant for them.
Think in terms of big “C” and little “c” communications. Big “C” communications – the all-hands meetings, the formal organizational announcements – are critical, but they aren’t the only way to communicate strategy. There is real power in the small, day-to-day conversations (i.e., little “c” communications) that help individuals and teams gain understanding and meaning for themselves.
Communicate strategy with an agile approach. This software development approach is based on a few key principles: small teams, iterative and incremental changes, room for experimentation and interpretation, face-to-face communication and quick feedback cycles. Applying this same mindset to strategy communication can give individuals and teams an opportunity to engage with the strategy vs. just being told what it is. Engaging teams in two-way dialogues, holding regular Q&A sessions with leaders and amplifying examples of how individuals or small teams are adding real value can have a powerful effect on how quickly a company can actualize a global strategy.
Communicating strategy can’t be a ‘one and done activity’ – it’s a conversation, a lifestyle, a muscle that must be built with intention and rigor. Here’s to keeping your company’s strategy alive, purposeful and thriving all year long!
Caitlin Strauss Corda is a consultant at Blue Beyond Consulting. In her role she helps organizations, teams and leaders thrive in times of change. To connect with her or the Blue Beyond Team, visit www.bluebeyondconsulting.com.
Looking to make an impact with global audiences? It might be time to think mobile first.
2014 marked a milestone for mobile. Giving credence to Mary Meeker’s somewhat shocking 2008 prediction (“mobile to overtake fixed internet access by 2014”), Americans used smartphones and tablets for more than half of their internet usage, surpassing PCs for the first time. A majority of that usage was app-based. And this trend is not limited to the United States, or even to developed economies.
Consider this: In India, there are 120 million smartphone users. That number is double what it was less than two years ago. In South Africa, which has an unbanked population estimated as high as 67%, 87% of individuals own mobile phones—36% of those being smart phones.
The proof points for devoting time and resources toward a mobile friendly, if not mobile first, strategy are stacking up. Organizations looking to reach, engage and compete at the global level need to take note.
According to Forrester Research Inc., merely owning or having access to technology, such as a mobile device or tablet, will inherently change behavior patterns and preferences. As more and more people are exposed to mobile devices and tablets, whether through personal choice, work use, gifting or lack of other options, the less they rely on traditional devices like laptops, desktops, digital cameras, print media and television.
For companies looking to grow, it’s time to move beyond the “think global and act local” theme of a decade ago. Today, organizations need to not only think mobile, but actively be mobile.
Gallup Study: Your Workforce is Still Disengaged
The Gallup Organization recently released the results of its annual Employee Engagement survey – the bible for many corporate and internal communications professionals. While the 2014 results were slightly better than the year before, they still paint a less than ideal picture of the state of the U.S. workforce.
Some may see 68.5% workforce disengagement as an insurmountable hill to overcome; however, others see it as an opportunity for companies to confront.
In a recent article for the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), APPrise Mobile’s Founder and CEO, Jeff Corbin, discussed some non-technical methods to increase employee engagement. A brief section from the article is below.
If You’re Bored, Are You Boring? – Not necessarily: Disinterested workers may need more challenges and authority
Lately, some of your star workers have grown sluggish and easily distracted, are taking more-frequent and longer breaks, call in sick a lot, show up late and leave early, seem detached during meetings, and are putting in only minimal effort.
Could it be your employees are … bored?
If so, that could be for any of the reasons most of us grow bored: There’s not enough to do. She no longer feels challenged. He’s tired of the routine. She sees no opportunities for advancement. He feels his efforts aren’t paying off financially.
“A main culprit is lack of challenging work,” said Jeff Corbin, founder and CEO of APPrise Mobile, an app development platform that helps companies with employee communications, public relations and investor relations. “A company’s workforce can be bored for other reasons—monotonous work, work with colleagues with whom they cannot relate or dislike, or feeling underappreciated regarding the work they have completed.”
Click here to read the full article.
APPrise Mobile Welcomes
Who: Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) is the world’s largest private-sector coal company and a global leader in sustainable mining, energy access and clean coal solutions.
Interesting Fact: Peabody’s coal forms the base of steel and sparks the electricity that enables longer, healthier lives and a higher standard of living in more than 25 nations on six continents.
Interesting Fact: Founded in 1951, M. Dias Branco has been operating in Brazil for over 60 years.