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4 minutes

Strategies to Improve Company Communication

Cassandra Rose, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Covid has been large­ly respon­si­ble for changes in where peo­ple work but also, more sub­tly, in how they com­mu­ni­cate at work, wher­ev­er that might be.

David Yovan­no, CEO and Board Direc­tor at impact​.com recent­ly stopped by The Brag­Wor­thy Cul­ture Pod­cast to talk about those sub­tle changes in com­mu­ni­ca­tion. He describes how those changes affect­ed his com­pa­ny, lead­ing to growth in strat­e­gy and planning.

impact​.com trans­forms the way busi­ness­es man­age and opti­mize part­ner­ships — includ­ing tra­di­tion­al rewards affil­i­ates, influ­encers, com­merce con­tent pub­lish­ers, B2B and more. Their plat­form makes it easy for orga­ni­za­tions to cre­ate, man­age and scale an ecosys­tem of part­ner­ships with brands and com­mu­ni­ties that cus­tomers trust to make pur­chas­es, get infor­ma­tion and enter­tain them­selves, wher­ev­er they are.

When David joined the com­pa­ny it had around 200 employ­ees. Now that num­ber is 1000 and ris­ing. That’s sig­nif­i­cant growth over a six-year peri­od, but even more sig­nif­i­cant when we note that 500 of those employ­ees joined after 2020, demon­strat­ing that the pace of growth has only increased over the past few years.

Company Meetings


Pri­or to the pan­dem­ic, impact​.com had ten offices around the world. Each office would host its own local meet­ings, whether for­mal­ly or infor­mal­ly. The meet­ings usu­al­ly cov­ered gen­er­al busi­ness updates, and notes and min­utes were made and held locally.

Move to Zoom

When Covid restric­tions came into effect those local in-per­son meet­ings became impos­si­ble. This is when David and his lead­er­ship team decid­ed it was worth try­ing a sin­gle com­pa­ny-wide video meet­ing, Thurs­day morn­ings, Pacif­ic time. This suit­ed offices in most regions, but for those who could not attend at this time an on-demand ver­sion of the meet­ing was made avail­able to watch at any time.

The meet­ings gen­er­al­ly run for 45 min­utes and include:

  • Week­ly activ­i­ties across the busi­ness, new prod­uct launch­es, etc.
  • Cus­tomer suc­cess stories.
  • Top team mem­ber of the week.

Offices that can’t par­tic­i­pate in live meet­ings can pre-record con­tent to be includ­ed. So it feels as if they are present, even if not in the moment.

David sees these meet­ings as oppor­tu­ni­ties to rein­force com­pa­ny cul­ture through dis­cus­sion and eval­u­a­tion of val­ues and behav­iors seen both inter­nal­ly and externally.

A hid­den dis­ad­van­tage of local meet­ings was their ten­den­cy to vary accord­ing to the num­ber of senior lead­ers present. For exam­ple, pri­or to the pan­dem­ic, many of the senior lead­ers were based in the San­ta Bar­bara office. That meant the qual­i­ty of those meet­ings was high­er, in part due to the fact that the senior lead­er­ship may have been more active­ly involved.

That meant that some offices, like the one in Cape Town, South Africa, didn’t feel they were at the same table as their glob­al peers because they didn’t have the same access to senior lead­er­ship. All of that changed with the week­ly video calls. Now they, like their peers, are ful­ly involved in all rel­e­vant updates.

Beyond just being present, they also get to con­tribute. David often serves as mod­er­a­tor for these calls and they’re not a webi­nar-style sin­gle-speak­er affair: on aver­age there are ten speakers.

Quarterly Planning

Quar­ter­ly meet­ings last a bit longer than the reg­u­lar week­ly meet­ings, some­times run­ning for as long as two hours. Here, the focus is dif­fer­ent. Team mem­bers look not just at the pre­vi­ous week or month’s activ­i­ties but at how healthy the busi­ness is look­ing at the end of that quar­ter. In a way, it’s an ​“employ­ee earn­ings call,” says David.

Every two quar­ters, senior lead­er­ship col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly plans ahead. While some orga­ni­za­tions can leave dif­fer­ent depart­ments siloed as they do quar­ter­ly or year­ly plan­ning, that’s not the case at impact​.com. Instead, the expec­ta­tion is that depart­ments will work togeth­er to plan and exe­cute objec­tives and key results, cre­at­ing a road map that gets buy-in and adds account­abil­i­ty across the board.

As he reflect­ed on the pos­i­tive changes that have come from this week­ly meet­ing, David com­ment­ed, ​“Why did it take Covid to help us com­mu­ni­cate effec­tive­ly with our peo­ple … to bring them all togeth­er in a for­mat like that?” There’s no going back to the old ways now. David has put thought into action and hired a full-time team mem­ber to han­dle inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions, includ­ing the run­ning of the week­ly meeting.

Operating Principles

When David first joined the com­pa­ny in 2017 he pulled the senior team togeth­er for an off-site to help every­one bet­ter artic­u­late com­pa­ny cul­ture. With­out going into detail, David points out that ask­ing ques­tions is an easy way to get to what’s at the heart of an organization’s culture.

Exam­ples include:

  • Pick three lead­ers you admire in the com­pa­ny and describe them.
  • What were the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the best busi­ness­es you worked at?
  • What were the things that stood out about the best boss­es you’ve had?

Answers to these ques­tions help to uncov­er the company’s oper­at­ing prin­ci­ples while pro­vid­ing greater con­text for how the com­pa­ny can grow and improve.

One of those oper­at­ing prin­ci­ples at impact​.com is ​‘focus on the cus­tomer’. That means under­stand­ing and antic­i­pat­ing what their needs are now and what they will be in the future. This infor­ma­tion can be gleaned in many ways: talk­ing to cus­tomers, get­ting in front of them, work­shop­ping through chal­lenges and fos­ter­ing deep rela­tion­ships. ​“The bet­ter we are able to relate to our cus­tomers,” says David, ​“the bet­ter we can serve them and dri­ve growth.”

Focus on Team Members

David is also pas­sion­ate about focus­ing on his team mem­bers. A draw­back of remote work is not being able to see and inter­pret body lan­guage and moods as they mod­u­late dur­ing the day. That means it’s on lead­ers to make sure they are reg­u­lar­ly check­ing in with their team. This isn’t just a ​“How are you?” that ticks a box. It’s time set aside to con­nect and have a real con­ver­sa­tion, to make sure that team mem­bers have all they need and feel sup­port­ed at work.

These real con­ver­sa­tions are rein­forced, when­ev­er pos­si­ble, by real-life gath­er­ings which build cohe­sion and camaraderie.

If you enjoyed David’s ideas and want exam­ples of how impact​.com is dri­ving ​“The Part­ner­ship Econ­o­my,” you can check out David’s new book in the link.

Check Out the Full Episode

Learn more about David and how impact​.com approach­es com­mu­ni­ca­tion by lis­ten­ing to our full inter­view on Apple or Spo­ti­fy.

Look­ing to build your own Brag­Wor­thy Cul­ture? Fringe can help. Fringe is the num­ber one lifestyle ben­e­fits mar­ket­place. Give your peo­ple the pow­er of choice and save a ton of admin­is­tra­tive headaches by con­sol­i­dat­ing exist­ing ven­dors and pro­grams into a sim­ple, auto­mat­ed plat­form. Talk to our team to get started.

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