Is communicating less the future for internal communcation?

Should IC teams deliver less communication?

November 14, 2014

Less is more as far as future internal communication is concerned, according to a leading IC professional.

Jodie Wissmiller, Head of Internal Communications, Grant Thornton UK LLP, is making a conscious decision to communicate less – believing that being more selective in communication will enhance reach among employees.

Jodie insists the role of the IC manager is already evolving with the likes of Yammer and Jive reducing the need for comms professionals to generate all types of content.

She said: “I’m focused on communicating less. Sounds scary… and no, I’m not trying to talk myself out of a job!

“But let’s face it, the pace of change is fast and it will only get faster.

“Our people are incredibly busy and they only have so many hours in the day and so much head space to read and absorb what we communicate.

“So my mantra is becoming ‘focus on what people want and need to know, over and above what you want to tell them’. This usually enables me to cut a communication by at least 50%, sometimes more.”

The future of internal comms is a hot topic at the moment.

Recent news that insurance provider Aegon had decided to merge its specialist internal comms unit into its wider comms team has raised more questions over the industry’s outlook.

So it was interesting to read some of the views from leading industry figures on the future of IC.

Jodie and Benedikt Benenati, Group Internal Communications Director, Kingfisher Plc, will be speaking at PRWeek’s Strategic Internal Communications conference later this month.

Jodie added: “To boost engagement, I think we should spend less time measuring and more time listening and acting.

“To me, the traditional engagement survey model feels quite passive: you receive an email with a number of questions, answer them and, months later, hear of your team’s engagement survey results from your people manager.

“I like the idea of frequent, short surveys (when you want to ‘check the pulse’ of a single area with employees); focus groups with employees and one-to-ones with business leaders to keep that face-to-face dialogue going; and more frequent, visible change in response to what we learn.”

Benedikt added: “Internal Communications as a standalone function is dead. It has to connect intelligently with other disciplines like OD and Learning to generate change.

“It’s all about ‘transformation’ (the new buzzword?) because organisations must change and adapt, and do it quickly and well.

“The focus is to join forces, beyond functional silos, and combine the various ‘tools’ to put in place an innovative and comprehensive transformation agenda.”

To read more about PRWeek’s annual conference on November 27, click here…