The ten Ts in IC – what people want in 2017
Date posted: 6 February 2017 | Posted in: Communication
When we conduct internal communications reviews for our clients we look at how current comms compare to our framework of best practice. It’s important to keep this strategy fresh so we thought we’d share our ten T’s in IC for 2017:
Take it from the top
Put processes in place to ensure the right news cascades through the organisation. Employees want to be led by their leaders; they want to know the direction of the business and why decisions are being made. Don’t be afraid to influence your leadership team to be more visible and vocal, and explain the benefits.
Internal comms isn’t just about telling people what they need to know, it’s about listening to employees, getting their input, giving them a voice and engaging them in business matters. Find out what they are interested in and get creative.
Talk to me
We might sound like a broken record but face to face communication really is more crucial than ever, even with growing technologies. Whether it’s huddles with line managers, or all employee events led by the CEO, people want to hear it from the horse’s mouth and have the opportunity to ask questions. This is especially important with change communications.
No-one likes old news! We recommend giving regular updates on how things are going in the short term and the long term. Tell people how it is as soon as you can; it’s not much use telling people about changes after they’ve changed. And don’t forget to regularly audit your intranet to keep it up to date.
Know your audience and always change messaging and the level of detail to suit them. Put yourself in their shoes and make sure everyone has access to what you are saying. What key messages would you want to know if you were them?
It’s not all rose tinted all of the time and it’s ok to be open and honest with your audience, that’s the basis for any good relationship. Sometimes things are a bit rubbish and if you can acknowledge that and emphasise on what will be done going forward then that’s a lot more credible.
Tone of voice
Organisations need a voice and identity that people can believe in. And while it’s important for this tone of voice to be consistent, don’t forget we’re all adults! In our reviews people often tell us to cut out the jargon and corporate ‘speak’ and just talk to them in plain, everyday language.
Trendy *Forgive us for using the word trendy, but it begins with a T!
We live in a world where (almost) everyone gets their information online. People want to be able to pull their information and not always be pushed to. Why not use the intranet, social media or a video blog to spread your news?
Give people of all levels across the business the right tools to not only receive the news but to be part of it. Managers might not be confident doing face to face, so give them training. Senior teams might not see the value in giving time to events, so educate them. Employees might not know how to access the intranet, so tell them how.
It’s a skill to turn a wordy, dry business story into something engaging, clear and to the point but it’s so important to get this right. Often, people don’t have time to wade through masses of information so it’s our job to bring the right things to people’s attention and tailor messages depending on what they are and who they are for. It’s all about making it relevant.
If you’re interested in updating your internal communications this year, we offer independent, specialist reviews to design and deliver solutions that make an impact. We’d love to hear from you.