Michelle Morris (left), Dynamic Do-er Award | Anne O’Neill (right) Crisis Navigator Award
Anne: I’m an actual Atlanta native and graduated from the University of Georgia with a journalism degree. I spent the first years of my career as a newspaper reporter, which was very fun. From there, I moved into different communications-related positions, with PR agencies, nonprofits and consultancies. I joined NCR in June 2018, and am a senior communications manager in Corporate Marketing and Public Affairs (CMPA).
Today, I help lead global strategic communications and change management for CEO Mike Hayford and our Hospitality business unit. I focus on internal communications, content development and deployment, crisis communications and external media strategy.
Michelle: Before joining NCR, I had the opportunity to gain both corporate and agency experience in the financial, healthcare and technology industries. I then used this experience to run my own public relations firm. I think some of the most important lessons all these experiences have taught me, were the importance of asking good questions, never making assumptions and making sure my “to do” list matched the priorities of the company.
When I came across the opportunity at NCR, I knew it was one I couldn’t pass up. It was shifting to a software- and services-led business model, had employees all over the world who really cared about each other, and those teams really cared about their customers.
I love really getting to know people, products and businesses. Which is one of the reasons that I love my job! I have so much fun learning as much as I can about NCR, our people and the impact we are making.
And I have to say – Go Noles! I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Florida State University.
Michelle: As a manager, I get to onboard, connect and coach new team members, which gives me the awesome opportunity to watch people grow and become better communicators, critical thinkers and valuable team members. It’s rewarding to know that I play an instrumental role in shaping a growing communications team, while helping them work together to bring our brand to life for our employees, customers, investors and stakeholders.
I enjoy contributing to a larger organization by helping to build a culture that employees want to be a part of! Some of my favorite initiatives since I started at NCR four years ago have been the creation and execution of a number of new employee engagement initiatives, such as:
One of the things I appreciate most about NCR – is that we are an organization that really listens. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work closely with our HR team to create and promote programs that our employees have expressed they want and contribute to NCR being a truly great place to work.
Anne: Every day is different and challenging, but in a good way. Along with my team, I come to work every day with the goal of refining and stewarding the NCR story to shift perception in the marketplace. I feel fortunate to work with such smart, creative teammates – where everyone brings their A-game.
Anne (Crisis Navigator): I joined the NCR Coronavirus Task Force in February 2020, and had no idea what it would mean at the time. Probably just a couple of weeks of extra work, right? Wrong.
For more than two years, I had the opportunity to work with and learn from people I might not otherwise have interacted with. Every step of the way, the team kept the safety of our employees, our customers and NCR’s business continuity front of mind. We made fact-based decisions and worked very hard to do right by NCR employees and #KeepCommerceRunning.
The task force team made a collective commitment to thoughtful, supportive and calm attention to detail. That helped me deliver clear, understandable messages to help NCR employees and customers stay informed, prepared and safe.
I’m grateful to have been selected as an honoree in Ragan’s Top Women in Communications Awards.
Michelle (Dynamic Do-er): It was such an incredible honor to be selected as a Ragan Top Women in Communications Award honoree.
I think my success often lies in how much I love getting to know people and the work they do. I always say, our people are our business! I work to understand every angle of a situation, getting to know our business on a deep level and truly taking time to know the people that make our business happen. With this type of information, I can develop and create clear and concise messages that resonate with our employees worldwide.
Anne: The hardest thing during the pandemic, especially the early days, was the uncertainty. No one had experience dealing with a global pandemic – it was unpredictable and information was evolving quickly. On top of that, it was scary on a personal level. I worried about everything – how to do my job, how to help keep my coworkers safe and informed, how to manage my life in the face of COVID-19.
By nature, I try to solve problems, so I took my job during the pandemic one step at a time. First, understand the situation and determine what is most important. Then, gather the right information and experts to create the solution. Lastly, communicate clearly, empathetically and consistently.
I won’t say there weren’t bumps along the way, but I am proud of the work I did as part of the coronavirus task force. During that time, I found that I could approach monumental challenges with calmness and reason, which helped my team and our clients do the same.
Michelle: I get to work with smart, creative and driven people from all over the world! And the best part about that is that NCR has a culture that looks out for each other and the communities we serve. I am inspired by the willingness of leaders and employees to jump in and help when its needed. The pandemic was a great example of this. Colleagues around the world jumped in to take care of employees and it was incredibly inspiring to be a part of communicating all the good that was happening during a difficult time.
I also appreciate the work the NCR Foundation is doing in different partnerships to drive STEM education, support city growth and provide volunteer opportunities for NCR leaders and employees. NCR invests in its people and the communities we serve – and I am thrilled to be a part of it!
Anne: I’ve grown more professionally during my time at NCR than I ever expected. NCR is unlike anywhere I worked before and regularly surprises me. It is more dynamic, faster- paced and more supportive than I ever expected a giant, Fortune 500 company to be.
The CMPA team doesn’t just talk about supporting everyone’s strengths and encouraging personal and professional growth, our leadership backs it up with action. When I’ve had opportunities to step outside my comfort zone, I did it with the confidence that my team would have my back. Taking risks doesn’t feel quite so risky because NCR values fresh thinking, thoughtfulness and creativity.
Michelle: Outside of work, you can mostly find me outside! I enjoy exploring and running around Atlanta with my family and dog, volunteering at parks, playing softball, and organizing networking events with the Young Women’s Leadership Forum.
I believe your extracurriculars are just as important as your work when it comes to living a good life.
Anne: What a deceptively deep question. Obviously, it depends on the day and vibe. I’m deeply Gen X, so R.E.M., U2 and the Beastie Boys are always in rotation. Alt-country like Drive-by Truckers, Brandi Carlise and Jason Isbell are favorites, along with classics like Tom Petty, Paul Simon and David Bowie. I’m also not above any level of cheese to power a dance party.
Michelle: I could write a novel on advice, so I’ll try to keep it short: