Communication + culture

This isn’t the first I’ve written on the topic of communication. It won’t be the last either. Charles Penzone Inc. recently conducted focus groups to learn about how our new company culture is getting adopted in our salons. We learned that our work is still in progress. We picked up on another theme — the need for direct, concise and clear communication
With team members working alternating schedules and varying start times, it’s a challenging to have face-to-face meetings. When team members missed huddles, they often felt disconnected which translated in their ability to communicate news, promotions and other important information to our guests.
When we heard this feedback, we dealt with it head on. We made the investment to implement a company-wide communication tool that we named PENZONE “ONE” — the one location for all communication. The tool is both an app and website that organizes department specific information in a visual and user-friendly application.
Here’s why we love our new communication platform:
Company-wide news: With PENZONE “ONE,” our team can get in the know. They can find information first, right from the source. We provide the latest from every department — retail, marketing, training, HR, lifestyle + wellness and more. Content can be presented in posts, visuals, even videos.
“Must read” message: “Must read” messages happen sparingly, but include the important messages that everyone should know. To confirm that information is received, our team must mark these messages as read. Now we know exactly who to target to drive messages home.
Push notifications: Our team can enable alerts and notifications to make sure they never miss a message. This feature enables information on relevant topics to be pushed directly to the individual.
Calendar + rsvps: We streamlined our calendars so team members can sign up for classes, volunteer opportunities and know what’s happening across all our salons.
Community: PENZONE “ONE” serves as a hub for PENZONE culture and community. We encourage our team to share successes, post inspirational stories or even ask questions of the collective group.
Contact: Our team has direct access to anyone in the entire company. Team members can be tagged on posts or in our feed. They’ll receive a notification and can reply right away for easy access and two-way communication.
Company-wide, 86 percent of our team members arecurrently enrolled. Our team members are feeling heard, feeling like they have the necessary information to do their work, and feeling like they’re directly connected to everyone in the entire company.
With PENZONE “ONE,” we can reinforce our new company culture. We can make all company-wide information available and accessible. We can empower our team to actively participate in our company by seeking out information — and, also by flagging “must-reads” for the mission critical items. In the long run, the implementation of PENZONE “ONE” is a move toward not only improved communications, but also a way to establish our desired culture.

I’m certain the successes we’ve had in implementing this tool could be valuable for other multi-location businesses. And I wish you the best in your ongoing communication journey.

Debbie Penzone is the president and CEO of Charles Penzone Inc. Debbie’s expertise as a business leader, hair professional and her avid philanthropy have earned her the respect of the salon industry and the nonprofit community. She has been recognized as one of the 20 most remarkable women in Central Ohio, one of the 20 most intriguing salon owners and was a Smart 50 winner.