EasyJet’s HR team took the decision to phone staff at home
to tell them about the company’s takeover of rival airline Go.
The company took the emergency action after EasyJet bought
low-cost airline Go for £374m earlier this year, creating a new business of
more than 3,000 staff. It wanted to ensure they did not hear the news first via
EasyJet’s HR team phoned staff and, when necessary, left
messages. It also e-mailed staff with details of the move. Company directors,
including HR director Graham Abbey, then visited airports and offices to answer
staff questions about the changes in person.
Abbey told delegates at the company’s employee benefits
conference last week that good communication played a key role in maintaining
staff morale during the takeover.
"We did a lot to inform staff about the takeover,"
he said. "People do not necessarily see the e-mail or get to the
presentation the first time around, so you should use as many communication
channels as possible."
The company produced a short video film and information was
updated daily on the intranet, in the weekly online newsletter and the monthly
"Communication does not have to be expensive. The video
was produced in two days," said Abbey.
An internet chatroom was also set up to allow staff to talk
openly about the move. Abbey said this was also a good way for the company to
monitor staff opinion and answer questions and fears.