Tag Archives: the future of internal comms

Employees in danger of communication overload

The internal communication industry faces a challenging future – because employees are constantly being overloaded with information, according to a leading academic.

Targeted communication continues to be popular in IC with a plethora of channels available to communicate with employees.

The much-heralded digital revolution has seen communication evolve away from the traditional printed newsletter and occasional town hall get-togethers.

With evidence revealing its links to increase productivity and profitability, employee engagement is big business.

This, in turn, has increased expectations on internal communicators to sustain a fully engaged workforce.

Yet the ever-increasing openness in today’s IC brings its own problems, according to Cary Cooper, 50th Anniversary Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health, University of Manchester.

In this blog post for Metro, he wrote: “Most of us are guilty of checking in with work too often.

“Last year HR Magazine’s Reclaim Your Time survey found that 34% of employees check their email immediately after waking up and 38% do it every night just before they go to bed.

“The difference between “we don’t expect you to check your email” and “we expect you not to check your email” is crucial.

“Of course, completely disallowing out-of-hours emails won’t work for all businesses. We need flexibility.

“Discouraging overuse is fine, but let’s take a more mindful approach to internal communications in general.”

But email is only one issue. Other channels cause problems with information overload too.

Cary continued: “Some 37% of startups no longer view it [email] as their main comms channel, favouring collaborative platforms like Slack and Google Docs.

“These tools are ripe for overuse, designed to facilitate group-wide communication from a smartphone. What could go wrong?

“Overuse of workplace communication is linked to a reduction in mental well-being.

“Flexibility and a culture of openness are valuable to any organisation.

“But those organisations that embrace openness have a duty to protect their people from the risks, both to their well-being and to their career, of being able to communicate so easily with so many.”

To read the full article, click here….

IC ‘must evolve to meet local government challenges’

Internal comms must evolve to enable local authorities across the UK to combat looming challenges.

IC will play a key role in shaping the future of local government across the country, says LGcommunications chairman Simon Jones.

But the former Mirror editor insists the industry needs to move away from traditional internal comms formulas if the issues facing public organisations are to be tackled effectively.

In this blog post, he wrote: “We have to think deeper and wider about our job than ever before, bringing in behavioural science, understanding more about the complex layers of interventions that go into place-making.

“We need to move from internal comms to enabling middle managers to be real champions and leaders.

“We need to be commercially minded ourselves, spotting opportunities to maximise income while marketing traded services.

“Finally, and most importantly, we have to move beyond the written word by getting closer to our communities than ever before, motivating, encouraging and inspiring change.”

LGComms – a national body that works to raise the standard of communications in local government – cites five challenges facing local authorities in the near future.

They are:
• managing demand
• investment and growth
• business transformation
• commercialisation
• forging a different relationship with our communities.

Mr Jones added: “Underpinning these is the challenge of how we adapt to the new landscape around us and to make the most of the opportunities that public sector reform and devolution brings.

“Consider carefully and you will realise that good strategic communications lies at the heart of every single one of these challenges.

“Yet are we equipped for this, do we have the right skills and ethos and can we take our organisations with us on this mission?”

To read the full article, click here….

Blog: Why IC doesn’t work

Internal communication isn’t working. At least, the evidence suggests it isn’t making much of a difference where it really counts.

The UK is up with the best when it comes to investment in IC, says Headlines’ CEO Peter Doherty.

In the past decade, and on the back of helpful stuff like David MacLeod’s report and the development of the Engage for Success movement, we’ve seen IC teams getting larger, gaining greater influence at senior level – and projects and channels getting ever more innovative and adventurous.

But please take a look at our national KPIs.

Our productivity is pretty much the worst among the G7 nations. It has hardly improved in the past ten years and, relative to our economic rivals, is actually getting worse.

And the 2016 CIPD Employee Outlook survey paints a sorry picture of the state of engagement in Britain, with a worrying drop in job satisfaction and an increase in the number of employees looking for a new job.

So against this backdrop what, exactly, has ten years of IC done for Britain?

Can anyone really demonstrate we are better off for having it? Where is the return on investment?

Protagonists could argue that the stats would be even worse without us. And that much of the malaise is beyond our control.

I think it’s a bit of both – but that there’s still much more we can do to make a difference.

Peter Doherty

We must open our minds to the aspirations of our audiences … because they are way ahead of us.

IC is, in part, about making people’s working lives easier: giving them the tools, ideas and information they need to do their job. To an extent we get that right.

But it is also about making those lives happier, more enjoyable, more worthwhile, more fun. That’s where we are missing the trick. And why they are demotivated, uninspired, unproductive and looking for other jobs.

My proposition is this: right now our audience is better equipped, more aspirational, more determined to succeed than ever before.

But with aspiration comes expectation. Expectation of freedom to network and collaborate, to have a voice – and an emotional stake in the community you choose to belong to.

Think of the audience as a tiger. It has vast energy and knows where it wants to go. But it is pacing, frustrated, in its cage.

There is so much we can do – and we have the tools to do it.

But it needs a fresh attitude from IC teams, and from the top.

IC can, and must, make a difference. But it needs to understand and trust its audience.

It must become brave, push the boundaries, and start acting as an inspirer and enabler for a vibrant community.

Get it right and we unleash the tiger. Don’t be afraid – we’ll measure our success where it matters: finding the holy grail of improved engagement and productivity.