Magdalena Szymanowska, HR Manager at Coloplast for GFMP: A ‘snackable’ format for the busy manager that will help you succeed


Hi, dear reader! I just want to pass on a communications tip to you.

But first, some preconditions, regarding content, format, and audience.

As communication professionals we should help ensuring that everybody in the organization is pulling in the same direction and that people are engaged in their job. So, choosing the right content is one thing, of course.

Another aspect is the format. Often the format itself can make the difference and decide if you reach your audience or not.

A third element, I want to highlight, is to engage a key audience in most organizations – the middle managers. With a lean communications department, you can only reach every employee if you enable the middle managers to communicate better.

 I would like to pass on a concept that captures all of the above and has proven to work quite well at one of the world’s best performing medtech companies, Coloplast.

We have to put ourselves in the shoes of the busy middle manager. How would you prefer to get information on what is up and down in the company and advice on how to communicate to their teams?

First: Create an opportunity to communicate

An all staff meeting about the quarterly results is a great occasion to kick-start corporate messages and reinforce the mission of your company. Depending on resources, you can now cascade the massages via videos, stories on the intranet, social media, mails with slides to managers and so on.

Okay, here’s the tip

We have started to leverage the quarterly messages in 30-min Skype calls for all managers in the company. We call them Leadership Communication Calls. It goes like this:

  • Following an all staff meeting in headquarters, the CEO (it’s important that it’s him/her) sends out an email to all managers across the company in which he/she asks everyone to sign up for a quick Skype call as part of a communication package. The Skype call invitations are already included in the mail, so it’s just a matter of choosing one of the sessions that fits the manger’s busy schedule.
  • At the session, Corp. Communication goes through the results and news of the company and ends by giving concrete advice on how to strengthen the managers own communication. E.g. how could you communicate this content at your next team meeting?
  • You make sure to let the managers ask questions to the content, you utilize quick polls and the chat function in Skype to create a dialogue in these meetings.
  • Just after the call, you send slides, videos and other material they need to conduct a good meeting with their team.
  • You follow up with the managers. Did they communication? What do they need to do it better?

In terms of content, you communicate what’s top of mind by reflecting the content used at the all staff meeting.

In terms of format, you respect that managers have a lot on their plates by only asking for 30 minutes of their time. They don’t have to prepare for the calls, but can simply sign up and be inspired.

In terms of target group, you cascade messages and enables dialogue at team level by letting the managers communicate what you also communicate via other channels.

The feedback has been great. Try it out in a format that fits your organization and let me know how it went.

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Magdalena Szymanowska, HR Manager, Coloplast