COVID-19 has taught businesses many lessons, and it’s no different for the Chamberlain Group, who in this time have realised their business growth is not so much linked to the state of the economy and market situation – it’s more about customer and employee connection.
The Chamberlain Group, Australia’s leading manufacturer in garage door openers and accessories, have embraced change and adopted a nimble approach to the ever-evolving economic landscape, which has in turn seen the business experience growth in H1 of 2020.
As the manager of a global company across varying markets, Grant Emanuel, Marketing Director, International, has navigated a new world of online-led strategy, virtual office banter and a more adaptive approach to accommodating the needs of individual markets with different economic, social and health circumstances.
“As we head into the second half of 2020, we’ve realised that our growth potential isn’t always based on the market situation, but is instead focused on our commitment to our customers, staff and stakeholders,” says Grant.
The Chamberlain Group will be focusing on five key business imperatives in H2, 2020.
1. Creating new moments for planning and connection between teams
The Chamberlain Group has headquarters in the US, UK, Germany and Australia, with more than 6,000 employees worldwide. In H1 with international travel suspended, global companies like Chamberlain had to find new ways to ensure strategy and messaging were aligned across varying markets.
“We’ve replaced our quarterly global strategy catch ups with regular weekly touchpoints to create consistent connections that allow our staff and stakeholders to be part of the decision making process and to ensure they feel respected and supported,” says Grant.
2. Adopting a tailored approach to communication
One of the most difficult tasks as a global company is to balance consistency with flexibility; ensuring we recognise the economic, social and health circumstances of each market.
“When speaking with my global teams, I really want to be able to connect with them on their terms; we don’t ever assume that markets are the same or want to be treated the same.
“We’re working collaboratively with our global marketing teams to ensure that we can remain connected and aligned, while giving them the autonomy to manage their operations. For example, our UK teams prefer regular check-ins to discuss the detail of each campaign, while our German team prefer monthly meetings with a broader focus,” says Grant.
3. Redefining workplace culture
One of the most important elements of an office environment is workplace culture; those inside jokes and collaborative opportunities that allow teams to be creative and learn from each other.
“Scheduled weekly catch ups over video chat to discuss anything and everything (other than work) has really boosted my staff’s confidence and sense of being supported while remote working.
“We have learned that working from home has really suited some of our staff members, while other prefer the office environment. Moving forward, we’ll continue to encourage flexible working opportunities,” says Grant.
4. Acknowledging hard work with more than words
This has been a difficult period for many workers, as they navigate this unfamiliar territory of remote working and balancing work and family life, while also meeting our sales and growth targets.
“Our staff have been incredible at adapting to the changing circumstances while continuing to reach our targets, and we are so proud of the way we have continued to thrive in this environment. We wanted to show our staff our appreciation for their flexibility and resilience in light of the recent changes to how we work, in more than just words.
“We presented our staff with gift cards to show our appreciation, but we know that we can do more. As we move into H2, we’ll be looking at how we can create a growth mindset within our teams and encourage them to think differently about how Chamberlain can grow as a business,” says Grant.
5. Bringing teams together, wherever they are
With teams working remotely, it can often feel like the element of support, brainstorming and team building is gone. It’s important to consider how to foster team relationships remotely.
“In normal circumstances, we have a yearly team weekend away where we are able to develop team building skills and social interaction. This year, we wanted to create those team building exercises in a similar (socially distanced) way, with trivia and games that encourage social interaction within our teams. We’ll be continuing these as our teams return to the workplace, to encourage some friendly competition and allow our staff to grow as a team,” says Grant.