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Connection Strategy


Worth Connects has an internal communication problem that is not going away on its own. A recent survey of associates shows that less than 25 percent surveyed understand what services Worth Connects offers to its customers. Further, 65 percent of associates feel the department is essential, but lack even a general understanding of Worth Connects and the services it provides. Associates need additional guidance and information from Worth Higgins & Associates’ (WHA) leadership on the value of Worth Connects. Internal communication gaps will Affect the bottom line at some point.

connecting with others is worth it.

According to the survey, communication gaps have created confusion about the role of Worth Connects as a department within WHA. A lack of clear and consistent communication forces associates to interpret information in their own way. If associates are not informed about new services or new departments, like Worth Connects, it creates a climate of distrust, which will spread throughout the organization. At some point, associates begin to believe their inclusion does not matter. This demotivation can negatively impact production and morale. The purpose of this plan is to create a connection model that establishes a cohesive understanding of the Worth Connects department and its services among WHA associates. (Notice it doesn’t say “communication.” That’s because Connection in this plan is a living model of inclusion that uses communication as a framework, not a silver bullet.) By utilizing “big picture” and “hands-on” connection strategy, WHA can adopt these tactics to build an internal understanding of the Worth Connects department, while activating an organizational culture of belief, confidence, trust and growth.

Situation Analysis Connection Gaps

Internal projections show that the services offered by Worth Connects will rise to 50% of total WHA revenue in the next five years. Worth Connects is vital to the future growth and longevity of WHA as the print industry as a whole continues to move from print to digital. Currently only 25 percent of WHA associates surveyed claim they understand the services offered by Worth Connects. Initial research shows that there is a clear gap in both the understanding and perceived value of Worth Connects among current associates , particularly among those who do not interact with Worth Connects on a regular basis. Leadership has not clearly defined Worth Connects purpose in the organization, and this has caused some disconnect between the traditional side of WHA and the new digital side of the organization. Organizational changes (in general) can cause anxiety among associates . Additionally, internal disconnect has the potential to impact the bottom line while also creating silos within the organization. In order to maintain loyalty and morale among associates , WHA must clearly define the changing business structure and strategy to all associates (not just Worth Connects) in a timely manner, provide a timeline for the changes, explain how the company will get to where it needs to be, and clearly define each associates place in the new company’s culture and business direction. WHA leadership must visibly support the company’s culture change and be transparent with all associates about the direction the company is headed and why it is necessary for continued success. Major company changes must be lived and led from the top of the organization with consistent and clear messaging trickling down on a regular basis. The good news is that the current situation is not all bad. Associate loyalty and commitment to the organization is high. Additionally, WHA is headed in the right direction by investing in a digital side of the company ultimately opening doors for future growth. According to the survey results, there is a general interest among associates to learn more about Worth Connects. This presents WHA with the opportunity to educate associates while diminishing the presence of silos and disconnect in the process.

(Situation Analysis Con’t) Relatable Industry Trends

Digital Solutions are the Future of Printing The printing industry is developing multiple channels for clients to purchase print marketing materials for both large and small-scale organizations. n 2013, the printing industry saw a drop in sales of 0.4%, and a decline of 0.3% in 2012. The sales however, when viewed in dollar amount, has remained essentially unchanged at about $76.4 billion in sales per year, over the past three years. With the decline of the paper printing industry being a challenge they will face, the presence of Worth Connects at WHAcreates an opportunity for expansion of services. Print companies are implementing “real time� purchasing options for clients who desire an intimate and personalized experience. They are transitioning from mass communication providers to personalized suppliers. With this, the industry gets rid of simple buying and selling and replaces it with dynamic and participatory design and creation. The following are recommended key business strategies, based on the article and webinar 2013 Top 10 Trends for the Printing Industry, for the future success of the printing industry. A few highlights from the list are as follows:


1. Digital Color printing services 2. Web-to-print marketing services 3. Marketing and social media consultation services 4. Mobile marketing services. The entire list can be found in the appendix.

(Situation Analysis Con’t) Overcoming the Change Challenge Adding new departments without connection creates a clear “us” and “them” divide. Many organizations have overcome these connection challenges and the issues they create, specifically in organizations that have gone through Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) or major service transitions. Trends in M&A’s show that there is usually associate concern over one’s role in the future company if they are traditionally working on the conventional side of an organizations services. Leadership should be combatting these possible issues head-on by clearing showing the direction of the company and each associate’s place in the future of the company. This prevents associates from starting rumors about what they think is happening.

Case Studies

In 2008 when Capital One purchased Chevy Chase Bank there was a similar “us” and “them” divide in the two organizations cultures. However Capital One decided the best way to overcome these challenges was by bring the companies, and their respective associates , together in a united vision for the future of the company. They determined that to do this successfully, they had to effectively manage associate expectations while keeping them informed throughout the company integration. In 2001, Sky Finance Group decided to integrate new business solutions into their strategy, with a goal of fully integrating over three years. To overcome internal culture challenges to productivity and morale Sky Finance Group secured immediate buy-in to the company’s vision and strategic business initiatives by leadership. They develop and launch an 18-month program to effectively communicate the company’s vision to 3,200 associates in over 200 offices within six distinct regions in five states. Lastly, they established protocols and strategies to transition the bulk of the change and general internal communications planning and execution from the agency to Sky within 18 months’ time.


The leadership at WHA focuses on ROI; and directly work with sales and marketing. Most of the leadership is focused on profitability. Worth Connects needs to prove that they contribute to the bottom line. Leadership coordinates all department policies to meet goals and objectives. Some of the leaders oversee multiple departments.

Workforce Segmentation

All associates are important targets for communication. They were profiled by department to gather a better understanding of their perceptions and needs.

Workforce segmentation Accounting This department ensures that the bottom line is met by all departments and depends on open and honest communication. Administration This department acts as the final decision makers for internal and external communication and operations. Bindery Associates have the longest tenure compared to other departments and has the most disconnect in internal communication. IT This department manages all of the electronic technology and security of WHA. Mailing All the communication efforts for WHA are sent to clients from this department. Marketing This department consistently and constantly communicates marketing, advertising and public relations efforts to push external messages.

Page Stationery This department focuses on personalized, stationery primarily for B2C sales. Pre-Press This department functions in crafting press prior to production and it is the least aware of Worth Connects products and positions. Press Similar to bindery and pre-press, this department has some associates who have been with WHA for a long period of time. This department are not opinionated one way or the other about Worth Connects. Production Planning This department ensures that the organization has the materials to meet client goals and objectives. Purchasing This department oversees the purchasing of supplies for the organization and ensures budgets are met. Quality This department oversees all manufactured products and ensures that regulations and requirements are met in the manufacturing process and that everything within the organization runs relatively error-free.

Sales This department will either make or break the organization. This department needs to actively work with Worth Connects to ensure that goals are achieved. Shipping This department oversees all shipments to and from WHA. Worth Connects This department is the newest edition to WHA. This department is helping the organization transition to an increase in digital products and embrace online marketing. Worth Digital This department allows clients to access and personalize print products online. Worth Delivering This department offers clients the individualized solution of mailing, warehousing and shipping printed products. Worth Wide This department specializes in large print products. Its associates create special products on a variety of materials, providing clients with a variety of options.


Connection Goals Connection Business Objectives

Establish a engaging, cohesive understanding of the Worth Connects brand and services among WHA associates .

Connection Communication Objectives

Make it relevant to associates by connecting how the services of Worth Connects apply to the overall organizational culture and mission of WHA. .

Identity/Attitudinal Objectives To achieve a positive understanding of the purpose of Worth Connects. Awareness Objectives Increase awareness about the integral role Worth Connects as a part of WHA. Behavioral Objectives To create associate interest and inspire participation as advocates among associates.

Approach Corporate Character Analysis

Although WHA has published mission, vision and values statements the messages do not articulate a unique position of the true identity of WHA. We encourage leadership to identify these statements in a more concise and meaningful way. This lack of clarity in the establishing of a unique vision may be contributing to a lack of cohesion within WHA.

Activating unique identity Looks - Look like one company with a clear purpose instead of several small companies operating under one roof. This visual disconnect creates a similar mentality that cripples interdepartmental collaboration. Sounds - Speak with one unified voice, engaging associates with the same focus as customers. Consistency in messaging creates an environment of inclusion. Thinks - Operate with a single mantra that aligns the organizations mission, vision and values. The thought process of leadership should always give consideration to the entire organization. Performs - Create a standard of interaction in a way that empowers associates to perform together - create a culture that promotes collaboration and reduces segmentation.

strategy 1: establish an ongoing connection between the value of worth connects and the future success of wha. A majority of WHA associates believe in the value of Worth Connects, but they don’t understand how it contributes to the overall success of the organization. Leadership needs to invest in advocating the services of Worth Connects, and thus connect the department to the rest of the organization by making Worth Connects part of the everyday conversation.

Tactics: Create interest in Worth Connects through regular Worth Connects-sponsored networking events, such as interdepartmental picnics, or holiday and celebratory parties to demonstrate services and spread key messages within the company. Encourage participation by offering giveaways and contests. A section in the WHA newsletter that highlights Worth Connects projects, Visually engage associates in WC projects • “Did you know?” messages on break room monitors, as digital billboards

Key Messages:

Integral to the future success of the company Industry trends towards digital communication Information about current projects Education about print-to-web opportunities

Connecting with each other is worth it

strategy 2: Build an environment of co-creation for products, services and policies

to form mutually beneficial relationships. The leadership at WHA must work to integrate all departments in order to form a cohesive organization. Each department must build systems of co-creation for products, services, and policies to integrate and form mutually beneficial relationships.

Tactics: Connect during meetings • Make them more interactive by asking questions, doing ice-breakers, or asking associates to present ideas or experiences. Sharing a reflecting is not only a great way to build connection, but also relay key messages. Interdepartmental lunches with leaders • Leaders can take a staff member from a different department out for lunch to increase organizational intimacy Develop messaging in form of gamification for all departments • Build interactive games to educate associates of the other WHA divisions and their products and services. Internal social media site • Creating an internal social media site can encourage associates to engage in conversation • Examples; Facebook group, Yammer, LinkedIN Host quarterly and annual presentations to recap top projects • Encourage associates to present updates on their department • Structure presentations to include interactivity and team building activities

Key Message:

All associates contribute to WHA’s success A need for cross-functional collaboration

building(s)-wide from one source. Associates can read key messages in a controlled and consistent environment.

“Little C� is a roll up your sleeves, hands-on approach to communication Create connection through regular Worth Connects-sponsored events to demonstrate services and spread key messages within the company. Encourage participation by offering: Giveaways and contests Interdepartmental picnics Holiday/celebratory parties One-on-one lunches with leaders

Connect during Town Hall Meetings Make them more interactive by asking questions, doing ice-breakers, or asking associates to present ideas or experiences. Sharing a reflecting is not only a great way to build connection, Sponsor Connection Hold different events sponsored by different WHAdepartments and use them as a n Connects. Turn associates into frontline content providers, by asking them to reca video or newsletter entries.


Connect with a story Worth Connects can provide an explanation of services by sharing project in the for associates can read about special projects or new services in any already desire Higgins.

Connect through Inclusion Encourage questions and feedback by associates in a dedicated place, like a mes Examples: Yammer, Internal Facebook associate page LinkedIN company group can be a great place to start discussion boards to engage

Visually stimulate messaging Providing digital billboards is a modern spin on an old classic. Digital billboards allow n

but also relay key messages. Additional Tactics Gamification Create online games to demonstrate services Promote Worth Connects internally just like you would externally. (example: Create a website explaining what Worth Connects does and visually showing how they do it.) Let Leaders Lead Utilize direct supervisors as change agents in communicating company information (specifically about new culture changes) in timely manner to their associates . Message should be consistent with leadership’s message but provide additional detail and reinforcement of points.

networking opportunity to talk to people about Worth ap their experiences at events through photographs,

rm of stories in the monthly newsletter. Each month ed and digestible form of communication at Worth

ssage board and use it like internal social media.

e associates

new, fresh information to be created and distributed


Budget Utilize free tools as much as possible such as social media in place of an expensive intranet tools that are already available such as breakroom televisions. The budget below emphasizes the recommended distribution of funds to carry out this connection plan. The sections may see overlap, for example, distribution of key messages may also include money to create additional marketing collateral, which may also be distributed at events. The idea is to brand Worth Connects internally as it would be externally.

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