Quick Study: 10 Tips For Communicating Change; Customer Retention; Career Development; Cause Evolution

*10 Tips for Communicating Change: While organizational change requires more than 10 tips, here are 10 key things to keep in mind when planning, announcing, implementing, and communicating a change initiative: 1. Remember that there's no one perfect way to communicate change. 2. Start by asking yourself what exactly is changing and why. 3. Know what results you want, ideally, from both the change initiative and the communication program or tactic. 4. Include communication strategists at the very beginning of the discussions about the change, on the strategic team from the start. 5. Share information with employees as soon as possible. 6. Keep in mind that quantity is fine, but quality and consistency are crucial. 7. Remember that a change effort starts with the announcement or a merger or change initiative. 8. Remember to use a variety of communication vehicles. 9. Don't confuse process - visioning, chartering change teams, planning, endless PowerPoint presentations - with communication. 10. Give people multiple opportunities to share concerns, ask questions, and offer ideas, and make following up with answers and updates a top priority. Source: Inc.com *Four Acts of Customer Retention: It's been said that it's seven times more expensive to attain new customers than to keep existing ones. However, tactics like sales incentives, marketing success measures (new leads, page views), and rewards for developments that benefit new, not existing, customers tend to result in a less committed customer base. These steps will get you started building a loyal customer base: 1. Concentrate less on training sales to prospect and qualify, and more on teaching how to manage complexity, predict and prioritize customer needs, and deal with organizational shifts and customer politics. 2. Have marketing focus more on reverse engineering repeat customers and less on press releases and success stories. 3. Listen to customer complaints, and compile the wishes of customers with a desire to improve your service. Talk to ex-customers and find out why they left. 4. Empower employees to go beyond accountability to serving customers and delivering added value. Source: Inc.com *It Takes a Village: Career development programs are on the rise, according to a new study from the Institute for Corporate Productivity. The study found that outside of skill- based training, career development is most commonly a community effort, consisting of in-house mentoring and coaching, which is most prevalent in large companies. Here are some key results: 60% of the 382 polled companies have career development programs in place, and 41% of those use in-house coaches and/or mentors; 48% of companies with fewer than 500 employees use such programs, while 58% of those with 3,000 to 5,000 employees use coaches and mentors. The figure rises to 65% for firms with 10,000+ employees; 53% of companies select career development candidates by manager referral, while employee self-selection is a factor in some firms; and, 76% integrate their programs with talent management goals, and 81% said career development was integrated with business goals.   Source: employmentblawg.com *Business Practices Matter: The 2007 Cone Cause Evolution Survey, which tracks Americans' attitudes towards socially responsible business practices, finds that a company's commitment to social issues matters to employees and consumers alike: More than 66% of Americans say they consider a company's business practices when deciding what to buy; 87% would switch brands if one is associated with a good cause (vs. 66% from 1993); 66% of Americans consider a company's commitment to social issues when deciding which stocks or mutual funds to invest in, and 77% when deciding where to work; Advertising and the Internet are the two ways Americans most prefer companies to communicate their social or environmental practices; 72% want their employers to do more to support a social issue; and, 87% say they want companies to support issues based on where its business can have the most impact.   Source: Cone, LLC

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