NOVEMBER 1989

If your business has many branches or locations and is growing at a rapid pace, how can you possibly manage to communicate with all of your employees? Try publishing a booklet that highlights the events of the meetings held at every company branch and location and distributing it to all employees.

Once each quarter several executives of Staples Inc., a $120-million discount office-supply chain based in Newton, Mass., meet with employees at each of the company's 34 stores. They talk about the company's performance and the priorities for the months ahead, pick one problem area, and solicit suggestions.

Employees also get a chance to ask questions and raise any other issues of concern. A month later Staples distributes to all its employees a booklet featuring answers to the most commonly asked questions at each meeting, as well as additional company news and information.

"The meetings make people feel that management is interested in them and in the best ways to do things," says Todd Krasnow, vice-president of marketing. The booklet ensures that everyone at all of the company's branches gets to share in that employee wisdom.