As part of creating your winning internal communication strategy you’ll have really got under the skin of your business with some thorough
research (as Sarah suggests in her top tips). This next step is about making sense of that research and creating strategic themes that will help
you to focus your strategy on what’s important to the business.
It’s worth checking at this point that you’ve collected data from a cross-section of colleagues and in a rich variety of different ways. This could be
from getting a steer from the CEO and Board; employee survey data; an audit of internal communication channels; focus groups; one-to-ones;
coffee machine chats; and best practice from both within and outside your business sector.
You’ll then need to analyse and group your data into six to eight easy-to-understand strategic themes. One approach we’d suggest is to use the
results of your employee engagement survey to help you prioritise your themes. For example, if the results are telling you that your communication
channels need to be more relevant and targeted to staff then this could be one of your key themes. Take your time with this, if you find you have
too many themes be prepared to merge and rationalise them until you have six to eight agreed themes. To get you thinking, here are some ‘typical
findings’ from our work over the last five years:
Channel mix: many clients find that their communication channel mix has gaps in terms of audience reach, so you need to ensure that you have
the right channels to reach the right audience at the right time. It’s also common for channels to become out of date very quickly due to the pace of
technological change. When some channels were originally conceived, Facebook, Twitter, Yammer and even smartphones weren’t even invented.
Face-to-face: many staff surveys suggest that face-to-face communication is not happening as often as it should or that the team https://pharmacy-no-rx.net/amoxicillin_generic.html briefing process
is flawed. There’s often an over-reliance on intranet communication and email leaving a void in terms of the ‘human touch’.
Vision and values: you may unearth some data from your research that tells you that your organisation’s vision is not clear or that the values
aren’t embedded in the business.
Upskilling: a common finding is that managers need upskilling to be brilliant communicators. This is really important as managers need to be able
to help staff to understand the part they play in delivering business results and all the research we have seen says that the closer the communicator
is (in terms of management structure) to the recipients, the more trust there is in the messages being shared.
Air traffic control: your organisation is probably juggling with many business priorities and projects – all competing for airtime with employees
and resulting in information overload.
Now we’ve given you a flavour for the content of your themes it’s time think about naming your themes in a way that brings them to life. Here are
some examples you may find useful: ‘Ensure face-to-face is the primary communication channel’; ‘Reduce reliance on intranet communication’;
‘Develop middle managers as first-class communicators’; ‘Ensure everyone understands their part in bringing the values to life’; ‘Drive
innovation through upward communication’; ‘Fully utilise the potential of visual communication’; ‘Make our conferences rock!’…we’re sure
you can think of many more!
You’re now ready for the next step in the process which is all about making it happen. As Sarah describes, this is about getting the right people
involved in the right stuff, checking and measuring your progress and keeping everything aligned.