CEOs reveal their internal communication approach

CEOs reveal their internal communication approach

October 17, 2014

Convincing your CEO and the senior leadership team on the merits of internal communication can be a challenge.

But with evidence continually emerging that employee engagement impacts directly on the bottom line, awareness seems to be gradually growing.

So it was interesting to read from CEOs about their approach to communicating with their workforces. We look at some of their different approaches to IC.

* Gavin Darby described UK-based food producer Premier Foods as a “classic zombie company” on his arrival – a business run through the banks and going through the motions.

The new CEO set about changing that culture, introducing personal factory visits every two weeks to meet with colleagues face-to-face as he looked to continually expand the business.

And internal communication has now become an integral part of the organisation’s make up.

“We stick to clarity of strategy,” he said.

“Determine your strategy and stick to it.”

* Canadian exploration and production company Enerplus prides itself on its transparent approach when communicating both internally and externally.

Ian Dundas has made comms a top priority since taking the position of CEO 18 months ago – but was surprised at the commitment required.

He said: “I believe there’s more complexity to the role of CEO than there’s ever been.

“Capital market demands, environmental issues, active community participation, are all competing for a larger share of a CEO’s time.

“And there’s more communication both internally and externally than I ever realised.

“So if you aren’t comfortable communicating you’d better get comfortable quick or the challenges of this position can quickly overwhelm you.”

“We work hard to provide transparency to all our stakeholders.

“We communicate in a manner that is clear, consistent, and open. And we make ourselves available to our constituents.

“But none of that really matters unless you also execute. If you are not walking the talk, communication will not help you.”