The case study focuses on communicating and integrating corporate values in merging organizations, specifically addressing the challenge of engaging employees in the new organizational reality. In the case study Martin Magnusson, Manager of Group Identity and Communication, addresses a gathering of communication managers from the four merging organizations. Since the initial campaign did not have the anticipated effect, the meeting’s goal is to evaluate the internal branding of the new Scanfin ideals and values. A new company identity, including core values, a vision, a goal, and a common name, had been established due to the merger. The new identity was announced through various media, including internal booklets issued to staff members and media efforts directed at institutional investors and analysts (Smith et al., 3). The pamphlet attempted to spread knowledge of the new brand and highlight its importance to employees’ jobs. Departments also received a copy of a video with the board chairman that explained the booklet’s contents and emphasized the significance of Scanfin’s values.
However, a follow-up survey conducted six months later produced unimpressive findings. Most staff members needed to remember the Scanfin values, and many still preferred to use their old business identities over the merged ones. Different departments responded differently to the campaign, with some demonstrating a thorough comprehension of the Nordic ideals and others needing more recollection of the booklets or the launch’s events. The lack of impact was caused in part by the slow integration process. Employees persisted in approaching their work from a national perspective and failed to involve or consult counterparts from other regions. Because of this, Martin Magnusson, the head of group identity and communication, was made responsible for the error and given the job of developing ways to implement Nordic concepts throughout the company (Smith et al., 6). After the meeting, a number of coworkers talked about the issue and exchanged stories about how the staff had received the booklet. Different strategies were seen, with some employees getting the booklet without explanation and others engaging in meetings and discussions with supervisors to learn more about its contents. Some employees couldn’t recall seeing the pamphlet or the Chairman’s appearance in the video.
To enhance communication channels within Scanfin and ensure a smooth transition to the new corporate identity, it is crucial to employ various mediums for conveying consistent and meaningful messages to employees. Effective communication between various levels and locations will be possible via email, the intranet, social media, and face-to-face meetings. Additionally, creating interactive forums where staff members can express their opinions, share their experiences, and ask questions about the new brand will increase participation and transparency.
The new corporate identity’s implementation depends critically on the involvement and alignment of the leadership. Top-level managers and leaders must be enlisted as champions who actively uphold the ideals embodied by the new identity. These leaders should conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the declared ideals and continually emphasize the importance of the new identity in daily activities and decision-making. They should also explain the merger’s rationale and its advantages to clients and staff.
Organizational Challenge and the Opportunity for Communication
The organizational challenge in the case of the Scanfin merger is the communication of the new corporate identity to employees. Following the merger, a new corporate identity was developed, which included the company’s core values, vision, mission, and description of its identity. However, the internal branding campaign did not have the expected effect on staff members. Most employees continued identifying with their prior workplace identities and needed to recall Scanfin’s new ideals. This lack of interest in the new identity presented a dilemma for the company. Addressing this issue and including employees in the new organizational reality presents a communication opportunity (Smith et al., 4). Communication significantly influences employees’ opinions, attitudes, and behaviours. The company may boost employee engagement, collaboration, and commitment by properly implementing the new corporate brand and fostering a sense of belonging and alignment. The company must consider communication holistically to take advantage of this opportunity. Colleagues, managers, and outside perspectives must all be involved; it is not simply the communications department’s responsibility. All organizational levels, as well as various nations and business units, should be the focus of consistent, all-encompassing communication initiatives. The organization also needs to evaluate the efficiency of its communication channels and strategies (Smith et al., 8). The instance discusses differences in how the branding campaign affected various departments. To better customize the communication strategy to various employee groups, it can be useful to comprehend the causes of these variations and to pinpoint best practices.
How the new company brand formulated
Top management, internal communications professionals, and an outside branding firm worked together to develop the new corporate identity. The procedure was conducted throughout a month-long session in an opulent London hotel. This approach resulted in creating the company’s core values, vision, and goal and defining its identity. The new name, Scanfin, was created by combining the terms “Scandinavia” and “Finland,” signifying the four amalgamated banks’ common Nordic ancestry (Smith et al., 4). The primary theme of the new-name campaign to employees was that this cultural history will serve as the new group’s organic foundation. The entire campaign was constructed around examples of Nordic design and architecture, Nordic landscapes, and similar, instantly recognizable aspects of the Nordic heritage in the expectation that it would be an identity campaign intended to foster a sense of belonging among the workforce.
Communicated to the Workforce
Scanfin used a multifaceted strategy to introduce the new brand to the workforce. A 20-page pamphlet outlining the organization’s new principles, vision, mission, and identity was produced. The pamphlet aimed to increase employee knowledge and stress the importance of the new identity in their day-to-day job. It was issued a month before the official name change to give staff members time to adapt to the new name. Along with the booklet, a discussion-starting piece was posted on the intranet and in the employee magazine to reinforce the essential points. In addition, a film featuring the board chairman was created in which he discussed the booklet’s content and emphasized the significance of Scanfin’s values (Smith et al., 6). All personnel in each department should view the film according to instructions given to department managers. Beyond its initial rollout, the internal communication campaign was maintained. Regular articles presenting tales that embodied the Scanfin principles and mission were published on the intranet and in the monthly employee magazine. The public-facing external new name campaign was anticipated to benefit employees by establishing a feeling of community and enhancing the company’s brand.
Evaluation of Success or Failure
The results could have been better based on the follow-up survey conducted six months after the campaign. Most workers needed to remember the Scanfin principles and the notion of Nordic brotherhood encountered opposition. The campaign had a very different effect on each department, with some exhibiting a profound comprehension of the new brand and others having no memory of it. The employees’ persistent connection with their former employer identities and the delayed integration process were cited as reasons the campaign failed.
Communications Strategies Could be Suggested for a Better Outcome
- Adapt communication to numerous nationalities: Because Scanfin is a merging of banks from several nations, it’s critical to consider the communication preferences and cultural variances of personnel in each nation. Create a country-specific communication strategy that considers regional cultural norms and preferences rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. This can entail speaking the native tongue, changing communication, and considering regional traditions and customs.
- Embrace subcultures within the company: Scanfin workers continued to identify with their previous selves from the banks before the merger. To address this, the company should incorporate the organization’s current subcultures and look for ways to connect them to the new corporate brand. Encouraging teams or departments to voice their opinions and concerns by allowing them to participate in open discussions about how the new identity fits their goals and core principles.
- Promote a common vision and set of values: Top management should stress the significance of the vision, mission, and core principles as the internal brand and culture cornerstones. Create captivating messaging centred on these fundamental ideas and used them consistently to communicate with all audiences. Use storytelling tactics to demonstrate how the organization’s values are upheld and mesh with its workers’ goals and work (Kumari et al., 149).
- Improve leadership communication: Employees did not receive or retain the video in which the chairman explained the new identity. Ensure critical messages are conveyed compellingly and memorably to improve leadership communication (Kumari et al., 149). To engage staff and foster conversation, think about utilizing a variety of formats, such as town hall meetings, interactive seminars, or frequent video updates from top executives.
- Expand the channels and frequency of communication: Continue regular and consistent communication after the initial launch to support the new identity. Use various communication methods, such as interactive seminars, employee newsletters, internal social media platforms, and intranet articles. To oversee the execution of the communication plan and guarantee continuing participation, think about establishing a special communication team or committee.
- Promote employee participation and feedback: Creating opportunities for staff members to communicate actively. Encourage comments, ideas, and inquiries about the new identity (Hyland-Wood et al., 8). Give staff members a chance to highlight their accomplishments or instances in which they exemplify the company’s ideals. Employees that exhibit the desired behaviours and values should be honoured and recognized.
The role of 1) leadership, 2) managers, 3) employees and 4) Internal Communications in communicating the new brand
The roles of leadership, managers, employees, and internal communications are vital in promoting a new brand and brand promise in the context of the Scanfin merger.
The leadership must establish the new brand’s general direction and vision (Mitchell, 100). They ought to ensure that the brand promise is consistent with the business’s goals, identities, and values. In the case of the Scanfin merger, the top management established the identity, fundamental values, vision, and mission of the new organization. Employees must be adequately informed of these components and be given direction and support at all times.
Managers must cascade the brand message and values to the subordinate staff. They must be aware of the significance of the new brand and be able to communicate that relevance to their teams. In the case study, some managers proactively communicated the new identity to their staff by distributing booklets, setting up meetings, and discussing the material. Managers that communicate well with their staff members may help them comprehend the significance of the brand promise and how it applies to their daily activities.
Employees are the brand’s and its promise ambassadors. It is crucial that they comprehend and like the new company identity (Mitchell, 101). The case study’s employee survey found that many workers remained identified with the brand of their previous employer and needed to remember Scanfin’s core values. Through transparent communication, training, and chances for discussion and feedback, employees should be included in the process. They must comprehend how the new brand promise affects their responsibilities and how they may help it succeed.
Internal communications are essential to ensure the new brand and promise are consistently and effectively communicated to all employees. The case study employed various communication tools, including booklets, intranet articles, employee magazines, and a film featuring the chairman (Mitchell, 100). Internal communications specialists should create a thorough communication strategy with numerous touchpoints that continuously reinforces the company message across all divisions and nations. Additionally, they should pay attention to employee feedback, solve issues, and modify communication plans as necessary.
The case study of the Scanfin merger concludes by emphasizing the significance of good corporate values integration and communication in a post-merger environment. The original attempt to spread the new identity and values did not have the expected effect, which caused employees to be unaware of the change and to continue to identify with the old company identities. Numerous suggestions may be made to deal with this issue and use the communication opportunity. First, it will be easier to connect with employees in each nation if communication is tailored to varied nationalities and considers cultural differences. A sense of alignment and belonging will be cultivated by integrating current organizational subcultures and bridging them with the new corporate identity. Employee engagement will be further increased by emphasizing the shared vision and values as the internal brand’s cornerstone and continuously expressing these through storytelling tactics. The new company brand must be implemented with leadership support and alignment. Leaders should actively uphold the principles, explain the rationale for the merger, and ensure their actions are consistent with the values. A transparent and engaging communication environment will be created by increasing the volume and communication channels, integrating staff members into the procedure, and encouraging their input.
Hyland-Wood, B., Gardner, J., Leask, J., & Ecker, U. K. (2021). Toward effective government communication strategies in the era of COVID-19. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 8(1).
Kumari, A., Kaur, T., Ranjan, P., Chopra, S., Sarkar, S., & Baitha, U. (2020). Workplace violence against doctors: characteristics, risk factors, and mitigation strategies. Journal of postgraduate medicine, 66(3), 149.
Mitchell, C. (2002). Selling the brand inside. Harvard business review, 80(1), 99-101.
Smith, Pernille , Carugati, Andrea & Giangreco, Antonio (2008). THE SCANFIN MERGER: COMMUNICATING a NEW CORPORATE IDENTITY to EMPLOYEES (CASE B.