On the Mic: Ulf Fensten Madsen from Nets

We're glad to have Ulf Fensten Madsen sharing what inspires him to work with employee communication. Ulf is Head of Internal Communication, Group Communication at Nets, the company powering digital payments in the Nordics.

By: Cristina Gavrila, Communication Specialist (8 June 2017)

Why do you find it exciting to work with employee communication?
Internal comms or employee communication can actively engage people and help to positively influence business results. Another perspective is that it is a discipline undergoing constant change, which means that there’s always something new to learn or someone new to be inspired by. It’s a constant reminder never to become complacent, self-sufficient and believe that “you know best”. I learn from the people in my team every day.

What was your latest success, and what made it successful?
I believe that others should be the judges of that. What I will say is that the people in my team have worked very hard on a series of major projects in the past couple of years. One example of course being our recent IPO. Another being the launch of a new strategy for Nets. A launch which internal surveys have subsequently documented raised the bar in terms of clarity around our strategic direction and our core values, which were recently revitalized.

What challenges do we face as employee communicators in the coming years?
One recurring challenge is the question of how to document the commercial value of our work. Basically answering the question “how does internal communication help a company to deliver business results?”. Another challenge is the qualitative nature of the field: continuing to provide advice predominantly based on opinion rather than facts. If we’d like to position ourselves as more than creative writers, we should, in my opinion, offer more fact-based advice. Again, I can only speak for myself.

Which exciting trends in employee communication would you like to pursue next?
As an internal comms team, we’re in the process of learning more about how to best support line managers across our Nordic organization. I guess lots of other internal comms team work with that as well. Nudging is another fairly new discipline presenting some cool opportunities with regards to behavioral change. Finally, I’d like to learn more about how we can develop a more structured approach to measurability (i.e. documenting the value of our work).

What is your best advice/tip to other employee communicators?
Don’t offer senior leaders the advice you think they’d like to hear. Offer them the advice you believe they need to succeed with their communication. Experience shows they rarely bite.

‘On the Mic’ is a series of blog posts that invite internal communication professionals to share their take on employee communication, their view on trends within the field and what rocks their boat. Feel free to send us tips on who should be ‘On the Mic’ next.