Corporate communication

While internal communications does not always sit within the realms of HR, how it is perceived by your employees is critical to their engagement. Personally internal communications sits within the Employee Relations area, but I know not everyone agrees.

Watson Wyatt recently released a Communication ROI Study which focuses directly on internal communication with employees and how being successful does drive organisation performance.

The survey demonstrates a “correlation between communication effectiveness, organizational turnover and financial performance” it also shows “that effective communication is a leading indicator of an organization’s financial performance”.

The survey also found that fewer that 50% of global companies effectively communicated with their employees. While press release provides some interesting recommendations I see most of them as “motherhood” statements from a traditional communication perspective.

What do employees want from organisations when it comes to communication? By looking at a definition of communication we see that it is an exchange of thoughts, ideas and messages. Not a barrage of noise, propaganda and data, which is what so much of corporate communication contains.

Let’s turn this discussion on its head. Employees want communication that is:-

  • Clear
  • Consistent
  • Transparent
  • Truthful
  • Timely
  • Open
  • Two way

In other words they want a conversation!

From an external communication point of view blogs are becoming a major force. The same benefits from blogs can be achieved internally as externally. The limiting factor is having internal communication released from the constraints imposed by the PR/corporate affairs department trying to spin everything.

Let’s get a conversation going internally!

5 thoughts on “Corporate communication

  1. Couldn’t agree more. One of the most surprising things in modern corporate life is the disconnect between the domains of internal communications, human resources (especially recruiting, which typically “owns” the employment brand position and all the research that goes with it, and benefits, which typically owns the most important non-comp. related part of the employment offering) and brand management.

    Any brand strategist worth two cents will tell you the same thing: that a good brand is one that’s relevant, resonant, clear and differentiating. They’ll also tell you, if they’ve been around for a few minutes, that if that list of adjectives is at the core of the promise, communications is the payoff of that promise. Put simply, communications is the voice of the brand.

    Viewed through that lens it’s pretty clear that good internal communications must be clear, consistent, transparent, truthful, timely and open–and perhaps two way, if that’s logistically attainable–and if it’s not, that the long term damage is to the brand itself.

  2. I agree the disconnect is always surprising. I have seen a couple of large companies within Australia do this both very well and very poorly. I like your recent post about “HR, do you know what your job is?” very interesting.

  3. What companies in AU do it well? I’d be interested to know.

    Thanks for the kind words. I don’t typically rant (or like reading rants) but it seems like a trend among several of our larger clients to hire chamelions into HR roles.

    Shame. On them, and on us.

  4. A couple of years ago AGL seemed to have integrated employee communications nicely into the overall HR program, and had full time communication specialists working as part of the ER group.

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