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Mgr, Corporate Communications - MRO Solutions

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Date: Dec 5, 2018

Location: LAKE FOREST, IL, US, 600455202

Company: Grainger

Company Information

Grainger is a broad line, business-to-business distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies and other related products and services. More than 3.2 million businesses and institutions worldwide rely on Grainger for products such as safety gloves, ladders, motors and janitorial supplies, along with services like inventory management and technical support. These customers represent a broad collection of industries including commercial, government, healthcare and manufacturing. They place orders online, on mobile devices, through sales representatives, over the phone and at local branches. Approximately 5,000 suppliers provide Grainger with more than 1.6 million products stocked in Grainger’s distribution centers and branches worldwide.


General Overview:

The Manager – Corporate Communications role leads the development and execution of high impact internal company communications programs for company business areas and priorities. This role will align to the Enterprise Systems and MRO Solutions organizations in support of their business area communications and highest priority and most complex communications assignments. The manager must be able to effectively manage multiple projects simultaneously and work collaboratively with team members in a wide variety of positions across the company, including members of the business area and executive leadership teams.


Daily responsibilities of the role include leading communications planning, message and content development and partnering with business teams to deliver relevant and impactful communications within and across functions. Ultimately, this role plays an important role in driving company performance, team member engagement and enabling a customer centric company culture. Given the nature of the work, the position is based in Lake Forest headquarters. This role is designed to build bench for Sr. Manager and Director roles in the department.


Communications Responsibilities


Role and Deliverables:

• Leads planning and execution of deliverables for both day-to-day functional communications and highly complex communication needs in support of business area strategy. Work and projects to include managing and continually improving communications channels, content development for business initiatives, communications training for people leaders, creation and support of stakeholder engagement strategies, large meeting leader communications support, company strategy deployment, etc.

• Manage multiple daily and project work streams concurrently, identifying and elevating integration opportunities and roadblocks to ensure effective communications across teams and functions.

•Develop standards and processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness of communications channels, including editorial calendar development and management; measurement

• Develop and manage communications plans, key messages, presentations and other supporting materials as needed for functional priorities and high visibility projects; report out on progress to senior leaders

• Ensure communications efforts are integrated and aligned across teams and functions to facilitate a clear and consistent articulation of business strategy and joint objectives. Role model and champion best practice sharing and collaboration among various functions.

• Influence and partner with functional leaders to improve interpersonal communications capabilities to align individuals and teams around the strategy to advance priorities

• Foster open, honest, transparent communications between senior leaders, mid-level managers and front line team members in ways that enhance internal engagement. Raise candid feedback from team members to improve the effectiveness of leaders.

• Create relevant strategic communication playbooks and templates to help leaders more efficiently and effectively communicate with their teams and better scale communications resources to areas of greatest impact

• Measure and assess the overall effectiveness / impact of communications activities. Use data to make decisions on future communications.

• Provide strategic direction to teams managing deployment and change communications for various functions

• Ensure Grainger’s brand is represented accurately and positively in all company materials & communications

• Serve as a company ambassador who builds strong relationships internally and externally that advance Grainger’s position with key stakeholders and drive broader awareness of the company strategy

• Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that embraces change, values learning and maintains a commitment to providing superior customer service.

• Meaningfully contribute to the overall effectiveness and impact of corporate communications activities.



Position Requirements


• Degree in Communications or related field. Advanced degree preferred.

• 7+ years’ experience in business or communications; previous change management experience

• Prior experience in IT or tech related roles preferred

• Experience across all dimensions of internal communications and a willingness to experiment with new ways to communicate with team members

• Proven success working in a matrix environment, influencing without direct authority, and leading large scale, complex change initiatives

• Previous consulting experience in providing strategic recommendations to both corporate and field clients

• Proven success influencing peers, teams and senior leaders on communications



• Strong executive presence and confidence to challenge the status quo

• Strong business acumen and ability to show up as a business leader / beyond the role of communicator

• Exceptional and persuasive written, oral and interpersonal communication skills

• Emotionally intelligent with a strong understanding of how to influence across all levels and gain trust of business partners quickly

• Excellent judgment and creative problem solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution

• Ability to perform in high pressure situations with multiple stakeholders including senior executives under tight timeframes

• Ability to translate complex business issues into readily understandable, creative and strategic communications for a variety of audiences

• Ability to see implications beyond internal communications and raise reputational risks as necessary

• Ability to make decisions in a rapidly changing environment and anticipate future needs

• Self-reliant, proactive, assertive, results-oriented

• Optimistic, energetic, flexible, collaborative, easy to work with

• Ability to handle sensitive or proprietary company information in a confidential manner

• Analytical – able to gather, analyze, package and make thoughtful recommendations based on insights from data


Impact of Job

• Team members understand the direction Grainger is headed, their role in getting there and feel a sense of commitment and energy to bring their best to work every day; Team member engagement is strengthened

•Enterprise Systems and MRO Solutions team members value collaboration and champion a customer centric mindset in all that they do

• Large scale initiatives are communicated clearly, contributing to achievement of business objectives

• Leaders’ understand the role of communications and feel confident and empowered to communicate with their teams increasing perceptions of leadership visibility, transparency and communication effectiveness.




Budgetary Responsibility

Manages project specific communications budgets; also may influence or consult on recommendations and RFP for outside services as needed.


Travel Requirements:

Must be able to travel within and outside the US; up to 10%, depending on business need


External Partners:

External research/ benchmarking organizations (evaluate best practices and determine how such practices can be implemented at Grainger); Peer networks; Industry associations


Internal Partners:

Enterprise Systems, MRO Solutions, Communications, Human Resources


Grainger is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or protected veteran status.

Job Segment: Manager, Consulting, Outside Sales, Technical Support, Change Management, Management, Technology, Sales

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