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Hello MT-Folk,

First of all I would like to compliment Mark and Mike for this very valuable website, podcasts and articles. This is the first time I can self develop with rapid and visible results.

My company is a young (5 years) and rapid growing company. My department has less than one year and has grown fast (from 5 persons to 14 in the last 4 months). The majority of the employees at all levels of my company wonder what my department does because we are so many from their point of view. They cannot imagine with what we are busy all day. My team and I do communicate about what we do during lunch, on the floor and on wiki (almost nobody uses it) and this is not enough, many persons keep on asking what do we do in our department. Other departments have the same issue within my company but don't do anything about it because they say they have no time.

I have the idea as director of business development of inviting all the employees via email (there are 250 employees in total I don't think they will all come along, I expect 40) to a department event in conference room and inform in an easy and friendly way what we do and our role within the company.
Does this idea make sense?

My boss is the CSO (chief sales officer) of the company who reports directly to our CEO. He does not communicate much on what my department does but support my idea of organizing an information event.

Do you have any tip on internal communication regarding fast growing department in a fast growing company?

I suppose many fast growing companies have to face the same issue and that many employees wonder "what do all these new employees do?"

I would appreciate very much if you could provide me with an answer on this issue. Thank you in advance.

Amy

Mark's picture

Amy-

Road show. Go to the other departments, one at a time, and brief them on your mission and how you support them or interact with them. Give examples of work you and your department have done, and how it contributes - CONNECT THE DOTS - to the overall mission of the company. If there is revenue, be particularly clear about that.

The purpose of these meetings is NOT primarily to brief, but to create relationships, with the briefing as a secondary and important rationale for the meeting.

Don't expect them to come to you. Don't do it in the cafeteria if you can avoid it. Go to them. Don't expect managers to inform their folks - send out individual emails (Get an okay from the boss first). If you get stonewalled, reach out quietly to a few people in the department and do a small version and ask them to help carry the water.

Then, stay in touch with those whom you meet.

That's the way to do it. They may not get it, but they will dislike and distrust you a lot less once you do this.

Mark

RayShan's picture

Agreed, that's one of the reasons why investment bankers do road shows before every IPO. It's extremely hard to create enthusiasm with phone calls or emails, however you may consider following up with an email confirming the when/where/who.

I do have one question though. I have a fairly good idea of what a "business development" department would do, however large companies with such departments usually employ a small business-analyst-to-employee ratio and operate on a "lean and mean" basis. I am not insinuating that your staff isn't justifying the costs, however if people are questioning the purpose of your department, maybe it's a good idea to think from their POV and re-evaluate the growth of your department?

Mark's picture

Ray-

Nice point. There may be a hidden message there... worth keeping one's antenna up.

Mark