Ask the expert - Interview with Ralph Schreiber, Head of Internal Communications at Ronal Group
Internal communication with ALL employees is still considered "nice to have" in many companies - especially in industrial companies. What is your opinion on this?
Gross neglect of the most important resource of any company, regardless of the industry: the employees. They are the most important brand ambassador, they shape the corporate culture, they are the face to the customer, they create and repair the respective product, they are responsible for service. Those who do not understand this will not have satisfied customers for long.
What are your most important goals in internal communications at Ronal AG? Have these goals changed in the last months with the Covid-19 epidemic?
To reach all employees from the very "bottom" of the production plant to the "very top" equally and at best simultaneously about strategic orientation, corporate values and ideals and current information. These goals have not changed; the right way to achieve them has become more intensive and important.
What are your biggest challenges in internal communications in a global company like Ronal?
The internationality. Different cultures, 11 different languages. Not every employee speaks English. To interest employees in internal information, I have to use the language of the recipient.
What channels do you use to reach employees and has the Covid-19 epidemic changed the demands on communication channels?
Everything from print to live and digital: employee newspaper, posters, flyers, pocket guides, screens, intranet, e-mails, townhalls etc.
Just recently you did an intranet product evaluation, which criteria were decisive for you when choosing the right tool?
Speed, simplicity, accessibility. All in all, the user must be satisfied, not the business owner. For internal communication and its goals, the linking of information and entertainment content with the values and strategy of the company is crucial for good user engagement and thus the achievement of internal communication goals.
In your opinion, who are the most important stakeholders in an organization when introducing a new intranet and why is it important to have them on board early.
Communication, IT, HR, Legal & Compliance. In addition, the upper management in a clean project organization. Without clients from upper management, the intranet project has no "backing" in an international organization and the project manager (at best from communications) has a correspondingly difficult time. All other areas should be included in the project team in order to address the issues of a cloud solution that are common today at an early stage.
What do you recommend to your colleagues in internal communications about what they should pay particular attention to when choosing a digital communication channel (intranet, employee app)?
To have fun with the solution/product yourself.
The RONAL GROUP is one of the leading manufacturers in the global market for light alloy wheels. With its services, the company covers the entire process chain - all production steps, from design and tool making to the final product, are carried out by the RONAL GROUP on state-of-the-art production facilities. The company was founded in 1969 and, as an original equipment manufacturer, has been supplying all well-known automobile manufacturers worldwide for years.
Number of employees: over 8000 worldwide
Sales: 1,3 billon euros (2019)