Amid merger talks, Wells Fargo answered employees directly

Wells Fargo responded to employee concerns¬†with surveys and e-mail during the company’s merger talks with Wachovia.

Wells Fargo responded to the major concerns of its 165,000 employees with surveys and e-mail during the company’s merger talks with Wachovia

During Wall Street’s historic meltdown, Wells Fargo made a surprise announcement on Oct. 3: It planned to merge with the ailing Wachovia bank.

It took two weeks for Wells Fargo to settle merger disputes; during that time employees received nine e-mail updates on the merger from Wells Fargo corporate headquarters. Two e-mails were tailored specifically to the major concerns of all 165,000 employees.

How did Wells Fargo know what concerned employees at its 80 business units? It asked the company’s 200-plus internal communication managers.

It was a team approach; it tapped into the benefits of a decentralized organization, explained Mike Bares, vice president of corporate communications and manager of internal communications at Wells Fargo. “We can get to grassroots questions and concerns very easily because our internal communicators are right there with their teams.”

Bares and his staff produced the nine companywide e-mail alerts. Here’s how they did it.

Checking the company’s pulse

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