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Colleagues ‘crave CSR-focused internal publications’

Colleagues 'crave CSR-focused internal publications'

September 8, 2014

Employees want organisations to cut business news from internal publications in favour of a people-focused approach, according to a research expert.

Martin Olver, founder and head consultant of Mindset Research, insists colleagues want in-house magazines to become more employee-centric, concentrating on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and people-related stories.

Mindset works with companies and their employees to provide insight into their internal communications, primarily through focus groups and surveys.

He said: “Employee appetites for CSR stories are increasing because they’re overwhelmed by the wealth and statistics of business information, performance and strategy.”

Traditionally, internal magazines – usually a key platform in an organisation’s communications output – were used to distribute high-end business news.

Now, through the rapid advances in technology, Martin believes it could be more appropriate to place business news online.

Developments over the last few years, he explains, have seen the need for internal magazines to change to meet the requirements of employees, becoming something more symbolic to an organisation.

“While an intranet is designed for offering up-to-date information, an employee magazine needs to represent the embodiment of a company.

“Increasingly, employees believe this is about presenting the community aspect of the business – the things that say how it’s defined in terms of its ethos, culture and people and how it can be characterised.”

For Martin, it’s not enough for companies to use charity stories to tick the CSR box and this is especially important for organisations that have experienced large growth.

He added: “There is a slight fatigue with just charity stories; there is an interest but people want to see how their organisation gets on with the communities it comes into contact with.

“Some companies will have grown an incredible amount over the years and will have staff that have little to no customer or community contact.

“Seeing an article in their magazine about a team or a CEO that has been out and about with the community is a great way to instil trust with the entire workforce.”