The IoIC 2021 Festival Low Down

10 November 2021

The Institute of Internal Communications’ (IoIC) 2021 conference in Nottingham was well worth the wait. For two days, industry professionals from across the nation gathered to share insights, tell stories and empathise after a particularly challenging 18 months. From AI in education to Henry V, digital mindfulness to galvanising a movement, the IoIC speakers covered it all.

At 106 we love being at the heart of the action, and as sponsors we got to do just that. So now we’re going to spill the beans on what went on at the IoIC conference…

Digital mindfulness in the hybrid age

The newness of hybrid working is wearing off and we need to face the long-term implications of this new world. Health and safety is incredibly important and there has long been strict legislation to protect employees. What we need to consider now is digital safe guarding.

  • How do we integrate technology into our lives while maintaining boundaries, professional and personal?
  • How do we balance engagement and burnout?
  • How do we broach inter-team accessibility and individual working styles?

Teams need to start with awareness of potential hazards and harms and follow up with productive conversations to set clear protocols and understand individual requirements.


We need advocates! Internal communications means translating core messages into different mediums and styles. Your mechanic in the workshop will receive information differently to the HR rep in head office. So get advocates! They might be ambassadors, selected for their enthusiasm and given basic comms training, or they could be team members proactively walking the office floor to help. As keynote David Price said, “don’t consult, co-create”. Bring people into the comms process, listen to their experience, act on it.

We’re all looking up

Senior leadership is crucial. No matter how large the organisation, senior leadership set company culture. If the CEO is hybrid working, people will be comfortable hybrid working. If the CEO says hybrid working is okay but comes into the office every day, it’s likely people will follow suit.

This feeds into the relationship the organisation has with the broader community. There is an expectation now for organisations to take a stand on social issues, and consensus at the IoIC was that this is a good thing. Senior leadership must support these communications as they will likely be the voice of the messaging but also, they have the power to undermine the message if they do not.

Diversity and inclusion as sustainable practice

There was a great panel on diversity and inclusion that discussed the reality of integrating good D&I practices. Firstly, it’s not a challenge but a growth progress. Approaching it as a ‘challenge’ frames it as something to overcome, but that’s not the case. Cultural shift takes time, and the D&I conversation will continue to evolve, it’s not something to be ‘achieved’. One way to assess your D&I growth is to review your company values through a D&I lens, can they flex to this crucial and everchanging cultural element?

Ultimately this experience was all about coming together after life online. As you and your team navigate this new hybrid way of working, check out RECONNECT 4 TEAMS to get the conversation started.

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