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Case Study - Internal Communications Multigate Group

The Multigate Group is a leading Australian medical products company with a head office in Sydney servicing a national network of hospitals with custom procedure packs and an innovative range of medical consumables.

The company was founded in 1986 by Australian entrepreneurs, Peter Chang and Ben Chen. With a strong focus on partnerships and pioneering development within the world of hospital care, the company has grown into one of Australia’s leading suppliers and manufacturers of procedural packs, employing 250 people.

The company still has a family business atmosphere, despite its size. In June 2017 the company conducted an Alignment and Engagement Survey with the workforce. The survey highlighted the need for stronger staff recognition and a more consistent approach to staff and team communication.

After sourcing an employee benefit platform to cater to the issue of rewards and recognition, the company turned its attention to the communication requirements.

“It was important for us to implement a reward and recognition system that delivered real benefits to the staff,” says Mark Stewart, Head of Brand and Communication. “But this only delivered half the solution to the issues that were raised by the results of the survey.”

Mark briefed the team at Underground Communications on what the internal communications program needed to address.

“Multigate has a unique culture and a number of different operational considerations that make communicating with everyone on the team challenging,” said Mark.

There were several challenges in creating a comprehensive communication program for Multigate, including different levels of access to computers and online content across office, warehouse and production as well as language barrier issues with English a second language for many of the employees.

There were also some specific communication platform requirements and internal resources at the team’s disposal, such as a designer and editor on staff with video skills and equipment at his disposal, as well as a newly formed role of Internal Communication Officer for a current member of staff who, through her exiting role on reception, provided a recognisable face for all staff.

Taking all the challenges, requirements and available resources into account, the solution was a multi-layered communications program that was designed to be inclusive across the whole company. 

Through a comprehensive communication strategy, Underground Communications developed a program that includes several touch points with all staff throughout the month. SharePoint articles covering topics in business direction, product news, team news and events are released throughout the month with Yammer posts to promote the article to staff. These articles are then collated into an eDM that is delivered to all office staff and any warehouse and production team members who have computer access. 

“One of the main issues we faced in communicating with the whole of the workforce was the limited access that production and warehouse have to computers or email, as well as the language barrier,” says Karen Porter, Underground Communications Creative Director. “Since there were some unique resources and talents available on staff, our solution to this was to create Multigate TV, a monthly video round up of all the key news stories.”

Multigate TV taps into the vibrant culture that Multigate has and enables the internal communications team to engage all the team members. The Multigate TV shows are aired twice a month in the break rooms, as well as being available online.

“The production team all have their lunch at the same time in their designated break room which has a big screen TV,” says Mark. “The feedback we received from our first episode was very positive. People were excited to see themselves on screen, enjoying their five minutes of fame!”

After creating the content for the first month’s rollout of news, including conducting on-screen interviews for a year in review video that was aired at the company’s annual dinner, as well as putting together the first eDM, the Underground Communications team has transitioned into a mentoring and consulting role to guide the in-house internal communications team on monthly content ideas and implementation.

“The team delivered the strategy and content on time and, collaboratively with the marketing team, created multi-platform solutions, including the development of our own internal TV News channel,” said Mark Stewart. “Underground are continuing to work with our internal team to coach and shape the disciplines that will ensure a sustainable and ongoing communications program.  We are delighted with the speed and effectiveness of the program and after launch it is already driving excellent feedback from Management and staff.”