How internal communication generates true value

How internal communication generates true value

Get wiser about the value drivers within employee communication and how to become a vital part of the organization's success in Open's publication: How internal communication generates true value.

By: Cristina Rusu, Communication Advisor (2 February 2017)

We have daily conversations about internal communication, due to our professions. We talk regularly about the changes out there, the impact of our field, and we often wonder about what is needed to advance the field of employee communication.

To answer that, in 2016, together with other IC stakeholders, Open launched a publication about the internal communication ecosystem and uncovered some of our daily inquiries. We wanted to discover how internal communicators could get even closer to senior leaders, bridge to the boardroom and become not only strategic partners and trusted advisors, but a vital ingredient of organizational success.

Through a series of round table discussions in the UK and Denmark, influential internal communicators from large international organizations have offered their ideas and considerations on the value and role of internal communication to international businesses today. The publication contains the industry’s view on three main aspects: the current context of internal communication, the value drivers of our field and some proven enablers for taking IC to the boardroom.

If you would like to read more about the topic, download the publication below and let us know what you think about it!


5 employee communications trends in 2017

5 trends in employee communication
5 trends in employee communication

5 employee communications trends in 2017

What will we see this year, now that Workplace by Facebook has been tested successfully? And after disruption and gamification found their way into the employee communications scene? Here’s our take on five trends that will shape employee communications this year.

By: Solrun Sigfusdottir Øfjord, Communication Advisor (2 January 2017)

When we look at employee communications trends for 2017, the common thread is courage, action and engagement. Also, employee communications (EC) will fetch inspiration from disciplines such as digitalization, business development and statistics.

Deep diving into new technology and employee communications

We will need to adapt and execute even faster than today.

We’ll need to take disruption and digitalization into account.

And we’ll need to act on the fact that our stakeholders expect the same results and documentation from EC as they observe and experience within external communication.

So, here is what we see as five major trends for employee communications in 2017:

1. Business-driven internal comms

Over the past few years, KPIs and performance measurements have become a part of everyday life in many EC departments. In 2017, EC will take it a bit further in a performance direction and be highly inspired by methods from business development and branding.

Just as top management focuses on how to develop a profitable business creating products of value for customers and investors, the EC department will be driven as a business.

The EC department will evaluate its business model:

  • What is the core business for EC in the organization?
  • What value should it create? Is it a profitable business?
  • What is the value we add?

Because one thing is certain: When we speak the same language as the CEO, the management will see the value of EC even more clearly. And perhaps budgets will even grow.

2. Many small measurements give the big picture

ROI, big data and measuring impact has been on our lips the last five years. But now, we break the code on what we as EC professionals historically are rather poor at: to measure the effect of IC.

There are two main reasons why measurements gain momentum in 2017:

  1. It is now possible to collect quantitative data from platforms other than the intranet. Mobile-enabled games and quizzes are becoming a more common part of EC campaigns. We can link data with behavior, to give us an indication of needs and where there is room for improvement.
  2. We are accepting that measurements do not have to be 100% methodologically correct and true to triangulation, representativeness, validity and reliability. It is okay to take the temperature of distinct elements of a campaign, e.g. the target group’s understanding of a strategy.

And it is better to execute small and more frequent pulse measurements than 360° measurements; many small measurements together over time will paint the big picture.

3. The leader in front

Communication is one of the most important keys to successful leadership. That is old news. However, it is a trend that managers are becoming increasingly conscious of their role as communicators.Their communication competencies must now also fit their management level.

We will meet a growing number of leaders who insist on being fully prepared to orchestrate their communication. They will not accept classic cascading frameworks where they inherit a PowerPoint down the line and have limited flexibility to create authenticity and true engagement.

This imposes great requirements for the communication training of the leaders with some trends that are sticking. Leaders now demand fully customized communication kits, with step-by- step guides for engaging, motivating and authentic dialogue with employees. These kits contain engagement exercises, videos, and other items with a creative twist, some of which may never have been seen before inside the organization.

4. Co-creation is the new bottom-up

The target audience is still the center of the communication, but outside-in perspectives will play a greater role in EC. Stakeholders and end-users will be involved early in the development of internal campaigns. When planning a strategy roll-out, the need of the markets will play a greater role than ever before in the bottom-up communication. The methods used are brainstorming, prioritizing exercises and prototyping – methods known from external product development.

In other words, co-creation will make a breakthrough this year.

And why now, 17 years after the concept was born?

Because digital communication is growing both internally and externally, and in digital communication, co-creating with end-users is an important part of creating great deliverables. Within IC, we are always looking for great arguments for management on how important IC is in creating employer engagement, and an argument that the target was involved in developing the communication deliverables is stronger than quotes from a focus group.

Perhaps the greatest strength of co-creation is the minimal effort it requires. We can now get a baseline on the target group’s level of knowledge, engagement and needs. We also take the initial steps in implementing the strategic initiatives already in the design phase because representatives from the target group already are involved and have become great ambassadors.

5. Social intranets as innovation engines

Social intranets will turn internal communication upside-down, regardless of whether the technical solution is Workplace, Slack, SharePoint or something else. After two years of beta testing, expect Workplace to be talk-of- the-town and lead to more organizations implementing social intranets.

Social intranets focus on employees’ needs for rapid knowledge sharing, support and social community.

Moreover, social intranets can break down silos, boost dialog and support knowledge sharing on the terms of the employees. It is a revolution for knowledge sharing and introducing social intranets can become the determining factor in making employees open the intranet as the first thing in the morning.

In the end, we need to be agile

So, roll up your sleeves – we have work to do. EC is more exciting and more challenging than ever and this year we will prove ourselves as the hybrids we are, juggling communications, facts, figures and technology.


Social media in internal communication

A guide for using social media in internal communication

A guide for using social media in internal communication

The use of social media in employee communication continues being a hot subject, and is still a mystery to many. Download Open's publication on the subject, and maybe you will fetch a couple of tricks.

By: Cristina Gavrila, Communication Specialist (2 February 2017)

Social media is currently at the top of many internal communicators to-do lists, and it is the hot subject on various blogs and discussion forum for internal communication. But why should companies invest in internal social media? And how should they get started using these tools?

This guide was developed in collaboration with communicators from Carlsberg, Arla, GEA Process Engineering and Christian Hansen during 2013 to 2014, and while some of its content has become outdated by now, its core value has been preserved due to its lively examples and strategic guidelines on using social media for employee communication.

Download publication

Employee communications – About Open

Our approach

We believe that creating curiosity, encouraging active involvement, and sharing progress and successes is what engages employees.

Our Inspire-Act-Share engagement model is at the core of everything we do.

What we do

We empower employees. We boost local decision making by providing employees with business insight and sense of direction required to make the right choices in everyday work.

We create purpose by ensuring high employee engagement and performance by translating business strategies into meaningful and purposeful messages that employees can relate to.

We unite organizations by enabling the organization to function as one efficient organism by building bridges that tie the organization together, breaking down silos and hierarchies.


10 ways to kill your employee communications

10 ways to kill your communication employee communications
10 ways to kill your communication employee communications

10 ways to kill your employee communications

Check out this Open golden oldie: '10 ways to kill your employee communications'. This short publication contains a tour-de-force of what often goes wrong in internal communication.

By: Cristina Gavrila, Communication Specialist (5 January 2017)

When we originally created this employee communications booklet, it was meant as a one-off cheerful gimmick, but it has proven to be a big hit around the office. If you have ever visited us, you probably have your own print copy.

Clients often refer to the messages inside, page through it when visiting and have a little laugh about it. As we’re currently doing a third print of it, we believe it shows the power of combining simple messages with a bit of humor.

Download the publication below for a good laugh on how to kill communication.

DOWNLOAD PUBLICATION

Employee communications – About Open

Our approach

We believe that creating curiosity, encouraging active involvement, and sharing progress and successes is what engages employees.

Our Inspire-Act-Share engagement model is at the core of everything we do.

What we do

We empower employees. We boost local decision making by providing employees with business insight and sense of direction required to make the right choices in everyday work.

We create purpose by ensuring high employee engagement and performance by translating business strategies into meaningful and purposeful messages that employees can relate to.

We unite organizations by enabling the organization to function as one efficient organism by building bridges that tie the organization together, breaking down silos and hierarchies.