160 internal comms people in a room.
Baying for insight and inspiration; well, answers to the perennial problems.
Of the non-communicating CEO, the uncooperative Line, the disparate workforce, breaking through the digital noise, and why organisations just don’t love their comms team.
We came, we talked, we may have conquered.
“The best £10 I’ve spent this year”
Just one of the many sentiments from the room
So what did we learn?
[Names and organisations have been deleted to save any blushes]
- Appeal to the concept of legacy for leaders and colleagues
- Celebrate small successes as you go
- Don’t always make it about ‘change’; it’s part of business as usual
- Be clear why change should matter to your team (it’s not all about the money!).
- Instil pride and loyalty in employees, they are involved in something new and exciting
- Be a trusted advisor and work with the CEO and Leadership to find their comms sweet spot
- Perhaps start with a diary of the leader’s week (but make it relevant to the team)
- Should you find a coach of similar background to help the leader?
- Or simply take them out of their comfort zone?
- One leader has taken to going around the business and doing conducting discussions with colleagues on video.
- Create a network of champions who can meet once a quarter
- Make it feel like something worthwhile – where they can put their ideas forward and even be the first to hear stuff
- Perhaps make it part of their KPIs and career development
- Externally, for advocacy, encourage people to create and curate
- Just make sure there’s a good, well-communicated policy in place
Connecting Global Organisations
- Allow country teams to give their own flavour to comms messages
- Otherwise it call all be rather staid and corporate
- Make sure global calls and events aren’t just suited to UK team
- “Strengthen global, empower local”
IC and Diversity
- Lots of organisations are struggling with diversity and inclusion
- Is there a corporate strategy? What’s the role of comms?
- Specific events can help, around Ramadan, Daughters to Work etc., but needs to be part of a Comms Calendar
- Ensure employees know the purpose of the intranet
- Show how this can benefit them, rather than imposing it as another piece of admin
- Embed it onto web pages to encourage discussion about content
- Ensure you have metrics to see how people are using the intranet
Creating a forward-looking culture through open and honest communications
- Raising the confidence of leaders and encouraging them to be open in honest. It’s ok to say “I don’t know, but I will find out”.
- Transparency and authenticity – don’t sugar coat, employees would rather the truth. Explain why a decision had to be made, when delivering bad news. People appreciate human emotion and empathy
- Don’t segment – provide the same information at all levels
- Make people feel empowered to ask questions, and to seek answers directly from management
Tackling tech takeover and saturation
- Nothing beats face to face. Don’t use tech just for the sake of it, use it effectively
- From control to curation – user generate content is well received. Let employees pick and choose their content
- Set protocols around emails out of office hours
Helping line managers be better communicators
- Help them understand all elements of the business
- Give managers a heads up before things are announced. Prepare them for potential questions that may arise so they are confident in delivery
- Buddy ups – senior and junior, so they can share information about comms announcements
- Training programs to help line mangers communicate
- Reward management for good communications eg for holding a certain number of information sessions etc
SO, lots to take in. But one thing that came through loud and clear is that Internal Comms want to be loved. For the work they do. The difference they make. And because they are willing to give up a Saturday to further their knowledge.
*Play Beatles track*