Aegon abolishes internal comms team for ‘integrated comms approach’

Aegon internal comms team axed for 'integrated approach'

October 24, 2014

Internal communication continues to evolve apace.

Insurance provider Aegon recently announced it was abolishing its specialist internal comms team for a more integrated comms approach.

We take a look at the reasons behind Aegon’s strategic decision.

Undoubtedly it’s a big step for the Dutch-based pensions and asset management company to move away from the tried-and-trusted formula of expert teams dedicated to the specific areas of internal and external comms.

But listening to the organisation’s solid reasoning behind the switch is not only fascinating, it’s refreshing too.

Debora de Laaf, Communications Manager AEGON The Netherlands, explains: “The communications industry has changed dramatically in recent years. Communication is everywhere and everyone, 24 hours a day, through many channels and media.

“Customers expect Aegon to communicate constantly and everywhere with them.

“This makes the role of communication, particularly of internal communication, particularly complex and challenging.

“We have therefore lifted the disciplines internal and external communication. The Communications Department is now working from a more integrated model.”

As digital innovation relentlessly pushes ahead, the landscape of communication is changing too. Channel development and content selection could accurately be described as a science – particularly with support from the priceless analytics that online provides.

Add to the mix the every-increasing demands of a more technologically focused employee-base, expectations have never higher.

Debora continued: “Employees are key communicators. Not only internally, but also to our customers.

“The difference between them is blurring. We therefore encourage our employees to communicate externally.

“It is important that you tell a consistent story, everything has to be right. You can not draw any hard limits because everyone is communicating: visitors to our offices, people who call us and receive letters.”

Social media falls neatly into this integrated approach too with Debora keen to highlight how social is being utilised to make Aegon a more effective business.

She added: “Social media helps us to listen to what is happening in the world outside us. The result is that we now better understand how customers perceive us.

“This applies internally. We have an intranet based on SharePoint, with news, but also communities where employees themselves engage in conversation.

“On possible improvements for example. Those are meaningful dialogues.”

Read the full interview with Debora here...