An FMCG company intended to move manufacturing offshore, meaning the loss of jobs in Australia. The announcement occurred at a time when consumers, unions and media in Australia were particularly concerned about the decline of manufacturing. Careful engagement of all stakeholders was needed to maintain employee trust, minimise productivity loss, prevent industrial action, and maintain the company’s reputation and share of shopping basket.
Our strategy was to minimise negative reaction from all stakeholders through consistent messaging communicated via open, transparent dialogue, supported by well-equipped leaders who were always on-message.
Taking an ‘inside-out’ approach we ensured all communication was undertaken with care, thoroughness and sensitivity and focused first on those employees most affected. We facilitated workshops to align senior leadership around agreed key messages, and trained line managers to lead their teams through change with confidence. Our recommendation to communicate early, ensure affected employees were aware of their entitlements, and highlight benefits for the continued success of the business meant everyone felt well-informed, and trusted the organisation’s leaders as the credible source of truth on the decision.
No adverse impact on absenteeism and productivity metrics during the transition. Employees, including those who remain in the organisation, remain positive ambassadors of the brand in their communities and in media.