6 things for IC Managers to think about for 2015
Date posted: 20 August 2014 | Posted in: Leadership
With the Summer drawing to a close and the Autumn almost upon us, Internal Comms Managers are starting to turn their attention to their strategy and plans for next year. Drawing on our Internal Communications Review work and experience over the last year here are some things to think about to ensure your internal communications continue to help your organisation deliver its strategy and goals.
Shine the light
With social tools it’s now easier than ever for people in organisations to tell their own stories, and the role of internal comms is evolving to one where they shine a light on the highlights for a larger audience, be they the best stories or the most useful nuggets of knowledge.
As you plan, have a think about opportunities and the key people you can approach during 2015 to ensure a steady stream of stories linked to your organisation’s strategy and goals.
Don’t be left behind
The way we communicate is fundamentally changing. Thanks to smartphones, 24 hour news and social media, news (good and bad) now travels much faster. Many organisations still have internal communication channels which are stuck in the 1990s.
Consider how you can help your organisation take advantage of the new technologies – especially social tools – and communicate in a way that’s agile and responsive. Look at your existing channel suite – will it be up to the job in 2015? It may be time to think about a refresh.
N.B. We believe that it’s really important that the introduction of social tools is led by Internal Communications not be IT / Procurement – take a look at our Hot Topic article on the role of Social Media in internal communications.
In our work we see an increasing demand among employees for real authenticity in internal communications. They want communications to address the big issues and challenges facing people in the business not just tell the good news.
This demand for authenticity applies to leaders as well, which may not come naturally, so providing this coaching is likely to continue to be a key focus for internal communication professionals – are you tackling this in your 2015 plans?
Whether your employees work behind a desk, in a store, or out in the field, they are an expert and their expertise can be useful for others.
Many companies we work with are focusing on increasing collaboration to drive performance, innovation and cost efficiency. It’s increasingly the job of the internal comms team to facilitate this. Do you have the right mechanisms, channels and capability in your team to enable collaboration in your organisation?
If you haven’t made your intranet mobile-friendly yet, why not start thinking about factoring this into your plans for 2015 – especially if you have a widely dispersed workforce. Employees want to access communications when they need to, where they need to, and be able to interact and share, just as they do in their personal lives.
It’s not a direct comparison but at TYL we launched our mobile website during 2013 and now around 35% of our visitors are accessing our site via their smartphone. It’s a trend you can’t ignore.
With the increase of social media it’s easy to forget the importance of being human, visible and engaging in face to face interaction, particularly when it comes to communicating change.
One of the most common employee comments we hear in our internal communications reviews is ‘We want to connect with the CEO and top team regularly and informally’. They want to see the whites of their eyes and know what they’re thinking; and they want their voice to be heard.
Formal events and conferences have their place, but on their own are not enough. Leaders need to be out there in the organisation connecting with people informally at all levels, maintaining a continual dialogue. It’s up to the IC team to make this happen, enable this connectivity and give the debates a wider airing through the channels – does this feature prominently in your plans for 2015?
Good luck for 2015
This is in no way a complete list of all the things to think about when planning for next year, but we hope that it will spark ideas and thinking for your internal communications plans for 2015!