So it’s official: most organisations do not have a formal strategy for harnessing employee engagement.
Despite overwhelming evidence linking high employee engagement having a direct impact on businesses’ bottom line, new findings from research firm Altimeter Group revealed that a staggering 59 per cent of organisations do no have a holistic approach to engagement.
The latest survey findings are painful reading for employee engagement supporters.
These days, it is not enough for an organisation to say it has an internal communication function purely to tick a box. Like most things in business, IC requires a dedicated and focused strategy to achieve its true potential.
Jane Revell, Head of Consultancy at Headlines – The Internal Communication Agency, has more than 15 years’ experience providing strategic communications advice for a range of private and public sector organisations.
Her expertise includes devising and implementing successful IC strategies, change management, driving employee engagement, crisis communications, channel audits and conducting evaluation and research.
Strategy is an essential part of a robust approach to employee engagement. Jane shares her top tips on how to establish a results-driven internal communications function, which in turn will help to drive up employee engagement inside your organisation.
Know your business inside out
Reviewing where you are now and being clear on where you want to go will set a solid foundation for your internal communications approach.
It’s important to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of both internal and external factors affecting your business, that you anticipate challenges and have considered the culture, values and behaviours of your organisation.
This will help to ensure your internal communications strategy is aligned to your business strategy and will put you in a strong position to provide strategic advice to senior leaders.
Measure, measure, measure
Evaluation and measurement is an essential step to demonstrating IC success.
Make sure you set clear goals and objectives for all your internal communications activities.
Be clear on what you are doing and why you are doing it, with a specific result in mind.
Ensure your internal communications objectives are always SMART – specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and timely. Using this objective checklist will ensure you are able to demonstrate what your IC has achieved.
Establishing a measurement matrix to evaluate all your IC activities will help you to regularly review whether your IC is effective and achieving desired outcomes.
Encourage two-way conversation
IC strategy functions should support a range of two-way conversations and opportunities for employees to provide feedback.
Setting up networks of champions across a business is a fantastic way to harness the enthusiasm and expertise of employees.
It’s important that these channels allow and encourage positive and constructive comments and suggestions.
Giving feedback to employees on their comments and explaining what action is being taken as a result of their comments is also a must.
Take a strategic approach to your internal communications.
Focus on the things that matter and make a difference to ensure you are more successful in achieving your objectives.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to do everything but this often means the impact is watered down and employees are bombarded with information.
Think about every goal you want to achieve and rank them. Take the top three and focus on doing those brilliantly.
The Headlines team can give your comms strategy a sense check to make sure IC objectives are working together with wider business focuses and make sure your business is making the most of its comms output.
How Headlines can help
Headlines’ consultancy team can provide support in many of the above areas, from helping to develop and implement results-focused strategies, to undertaking channel reviews, creating line manager and champion toolkits and providing support in evaluating IC activities.
To find out more about Headlines’ services, email firstname.lastname@example.org