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Internal Comms and Employee Engagement

Terrabiz, October 2010

Brenda ONeill

on 22 September 2010

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Transcript of Internal Comms and Employee Engagement

1 Why bother communicating?
is just
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT Why and how does communication make a difference? Case studies You'll need to convince your decision makers that it matters TRUST, ENGAGEMENT
& COMMUNICATION Coffee break? What do you think? What is your experience? MEASUREMENT Hungry? FOUNDATIONS
How? Who? What? Why? LET'S DO IT! INFO HUB 3 4 What does great IC look like? Communication builds trust. It's difficult to trust somebody who doesn't communicate with you! Ask any (happily) married couple So you might as well do a good job! ? Instinct and experience tell us it matters.
But why? + THINK + FEEL ENERGY! LINE OF SIGHT= I know where my company is going and the role I play in getting it there
(linked to PRODUCTIVITY)
COMMITMENT = I keep going, am loyal and invest in achieving company goals
(linked to RETENTION)
ENABLEMENT = I have the skills, resources, processes and support to do a good job
INTEGRITY = I trust my employer to treat me fairly, tell me the truth and behave in an ethical way
(linked to TRUST) 6: You trust and have confidence in your senior leaders
7: Senior management communicates effectivley with you
8: Your salary compares well with that in other companies
9: People who perform well in you company are rewarded
10: As an employee, you are involved in decision making What drives engagement?
1: You understand the business goals of your company
2: You believe your company will be successful, long term
3: Your job is satisfying
4: You can manage your stress levels at work
5: You receive effective training I understand where my company is going and the role I play I give the extra effort and am motivated to perform well at work
I say good things about my company to clients, family and friends I understand why change is happening and what I need to do differently I follow all the regulations and procedures required by my role INTERNAL COMMS HELPS GET EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES 'ON THE SAME PAGE' THINK ABOUT IT!



INVOLVE 1: A reputable and successful company 2: To make a difference in the world 3: Challenge and enjoyment 4: A respectful environment Front line staff:
Access to a range of appropriate channels with messages that are relevant and timely
An opportunity to feedback their opinions to management and share their experiences and expertise
Clear expectations on what, how and when to communicate
Recognition and reward for being good communicators
Middle managers:
Training and support on how to communicate
Practical help with messages
Practical tools – briefing sheets, FAQs, simple communication plans for projects
Clear expectations on what, how and when to communicate
The opportunity to feedback to senior managers and hear the opinions of staff
Recognition and reward for doing a good job
Senior managers:
Encouragement and support
Advice on how to communicate around issues
Practical help – messages, training, position documents, events, presentations, roadshows etc
Data and feedback from front line employees
Help them understand how they influence the tone
These things will stop IC being effective:
Pretending to be something you are not
Not communicating
Lying, going back on promises, avoiding difficult issues, applying different standards to your friends than you do to others, being inconsistent….
Allowing senior management to undermine middle managers by sending out conflicting messages. This gives middle managers no chance of walking the talk!
Blaming middle managers for everything
Not resourcing middle managers
Sending out conflicting or hypocritical messages from the top e.g. “people are our greatest asset…. but reach your financial targets or lose your bonus!”
Having systems etc. which conflict with your engagement messages
Blaming employees for everything
Not empowering your people Great Internal comms....
is a Strategic partner
is a Facilitator – channels are used effectively
is a Good listener
Understands its audience well
Supports departments to build an effective internal culture of trust and mutual respect
Bad internal comms...
is flashy and expensive – all talk and no substance
is the “mouthpiece” of management or the company “spin doctor”
Whatever Marketing or Corporate Comms does – the company reputation in largely in these people’s hands!
Employees usually start their career with you with a positive attitude
Most employees want to do well!
What they experience day by day at work has a major impact on employees’ level of engagement
Middle managers are ‘bridges’and ‘translators’.They are key in the engagement equation
They translate big picture messages into meaningful line of sight information
They are a trusted source of operational information
They represent the company culture
They have the challenge of explaining the difference between what the company says and what the company does!
Operations - have to make change happen. It’s impossible without good communication
Marketing - need to feel employees will deliver on brand promises
Corporate Communications - need to be able to rely on employees to 'make' the company reputation.
Human Resources - want to cut down time and energy lost in day to day administration time, sick leave, turnover etc.
IT - need to be sure employees use resources more responsibly and effectively.
Finance - want to see company profits rise
You don't have a choice - you are communicating anyway...... Hands up! Does your company have any employees? 2 “Messages we communicate internally…can only be effective if they reflect and reinforce the experience employees have when they turn up for work every day. ”
Mike Love, BT Global Services
“You want to feel good about your colleagues…and you want to feel good about your boss – that you are valued and that you are being recognized…for your hard work”
Ron Fuchs, Agilent Technologies
ENGAGEMENT = How you feel affects how you perform at work. GP2W: Trust + pride + community Brenda O'Neill
MA Hons Professional Communication
25 years international, teaching, training and writing experience in Europe, SE Asia, Japan, New Zealand and the Middle East MAKING IT HAPPEN FOR YOU Start by preparing a 90 second 'elevator' speech! Significant improvement in communication effectiveness =15.7% increase in market value. (2007/2008 Communication ROI Study: Secrets of Top Performers: How Companies With Highly Effective Employee Communication Differentiate Themselves , Watson Wyatt “Effective employee communication is a leading indicator of financial performance and a driver of employee engagement. (Watson Wyatt 2009 IC ROI report)Employees with high morale perform 20% better. Highly committed employees try 57% harder. Organisations that communicate a clear Employee Value Proposition experience 87% less employee churn. Direct and indirect cost to organisation of an employee leaving costs an average of 150% of the total remuneration package. (Corporate Leadership Council 2007.)

The United Kingdom would be up to £50 billion (USD$ 70 billion) a year better off if organisations made a greater effort to communicate with their employees.(Headlines Corporate News, with University of Oxford, 2005) Employee retention
-> plus 44% Safety
-> plus 50% Customer loyalty
-> plus 56% Profitability
-> plus 30% Productivity
-> plus 50% 30% 37% 33% Business leaders score 30% for honesty
(Ipsos MORI 2009) 37% of business leaders have low or very low ethical standards
(Gallup November 2008) 33% of employees think their Senior Management is untrustworthy - and 57% say management doesn’t care if it is trusted! (Endaba 2008) TRUST HIGH PERFORMING ORGANIZATIONS = “those with an emphasis on motivation, trust, communication, knowledge sharing, and innovation within the organization”. (OECD) PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE =
“how the workforce is aligned with the organization’s objectives” (Performance Excellence criteria to qualify for the National Excellence Awards) Great Place to Work Institute
Financial Times Top 50
Fortune 100
100 Best Workplaces in Europe
Gallup Great Workplace Award
“Employer Of Choice” award WHO IS DOING THIS WELL? “....a loose, informal culture that keeps all employees aligned through a set of core values and a variety of communication vehicles.”“....culture of openness starts all the way to the top.”“No matter what country it operates in, Microsoft also continually reinforces the core belief that its employees are its greatest assets.”“Microsoft is also very transparent about its pay model and bonus plans....” Within three weeks of joining, every employee meets the CEOCEO blog accessible by staff. Senior management regularly “walk the floor”A scheme to recognize staff who have gone beyond the call of duty A staff solutions scheme with rewards Admiral TVIndependent Recruitment Committee, composed of staff members from across the company, makes recommendations on appointments. Support for local charities and organizations Towers Watson, Employee Engagement and Performance, 2010 Bank client:
Abstenteeism cost company USD$24 per hour Raised the level of Role Empowerment for the bottom 40% of units to the firm average In one year 30,000 hours saved = USD$720,000 Also reduced turnover, (350 fewer resignations) and saved the company USD$1,848,000 New loyalty scheme for supermarket customers
Must be kept secret before launch
A lot of competition for customer loyalty
130,000 full time, shift and part time workers
Over 470 locations
Mobile workers (on the floor), Little computer access
Previous bad experiences with change and loyalty schemes
THE PROBLEM Raised awareness about loyalty cards in general
Understood that check out staff the main communicators to the public
Briefing packs to local managers
Cascaded to checkout staff
Roadshow for all local store managers
Admitted past mistakes and showed how they were going to avoid them this time
Role plays and training materials for their team
Staff coaching and training
Trial period with feedback and encouraged ownership from staff
Constant ongoing communication 25% of the UK population users within two months of launch
39% of awareness came from in-store employees (compared to 41% from advertising)
9.8/10 for colleague commitment Chose media which enabled them to:
Involve employees and get feedback
Give comprehensive information
Be constant and consistent in their messages
Make sense to employees so they could be honest advocates for the scheme THE PLAN THE RESULT WHY? Your company Vison Mission and Values are....? Why does your IC function exsist? These ideas form the backbone of your key messages! Just add information. 1: 2: 3: Imagine a company is introducing a new medical scheme to employees. Some parts of the new scheme are better, some are worse. The company core values are customer service, honesty, team work, respect and innovation.
How you would approach communicating this message. What would the key messages be? FIRST KEY QUESTION! NEXT KEY QUESTION! NEXT ANSWER THIS QUESTION! ALWAYS ask 'who'
If you don’t think carefully about who you are communicating with, you will often make a mistakeLots of different things affect what we hear and what we understandMost people are REALLY bad readers! Your job is to understand your reader to make sure you make their life as EASY as possible Magazines and website know 'who'. If they don't they go broke! Although you don’t want to stereotype people, you should consider:
Cultural background/ethnicity
Educational background
Income level With a partner, spend five minutes profiling they key typical people in your audience. Produce a diagram/image/list to show:
Their personality and lifestyle
Their language level and reading ability
Their approach to work tasks
Their worries, challenges and problems AND FINALLY.... How many ways can you think of communicating at work?
With your group you have 3 minutes to write as long a list as possible of ways you communicate at work
The team with the longest list is the winner! One way
New media
Slow to produce Two way
Time lapsed
Old media
Quick turnaround With your team, take your media cards and put them in order, based on the criteria the trainer gives you.
Check your ordering with the other teams.
Do you agree or disagree?
Different media have different characteristics.
Choose the one that suits your needs. YOUR RESOURCES Imagine you were building your ideal IC team! Money is no object.

Choose as many people as you like from the photos you have and give them any skills you like

(Wouldn’t that be great!) Building effective relationships ->
Business focus ->
Consulting and coaching ->
Cross functional awareness ->
Craft (writing and design) ->
Developing others ->
Innovation and creativity ->
Listening ->
Making it happen ->
Planning ->
Vision and standards -> Trust, respect, networks
Understand your business
Helping HoDs and managers
Skills from other departments
Can you write and design well?
Help your team members grow
Thinking of fresh ideas
A good information gatherer
Not just talk!
Well organized to deliver
Being consistent and ethical 1: People and their skills Look at the information in your course notes and score yourself on the 12 core IC skillsNow, lets see if, in this room we can build our own dream team. Find out the skills the other course participants have and let’s see …. CAN YOU DO IT ALL? Imagine you have to roll out information about a new stratgeic direction to all the employees in your company. You are alone - apart from one administrator to help you!

Too much work!
With your team, brainstorm some possible solutions to get the work doneYou are always going to be short of resources. You will need to be creative and be good at delegating TELL YOUR PEOPLE
Because everybody is communicating all the time, people have to know what is expected
Policy and procedures
Employee orientation
Training and toolkits TRAIN YOUR PEOPLE
Is IC represented at your company-wide orientation and departmental orientation?
Do you train your middle managers on IC and engagement and give them a toolkit to help them?
Do you train your team and champions? DELEGATE
Newsletter teams
IC champions
Middle manager training and toolkits
External suppliers 2: Money What is your annual Internal Communications budget? $0? Outsourcing costs money
Art houses
BUTYour time costs money (+opportunity costs)
High level in-house skills cost money Resources (computers, servers, space) cost money
Bad/no internal comms cost the most! You have USD$20000 to communicate the next year’s strategic plan for your company of 1400 people spread over 5 sites. You are a team of two – you and an assistant. What would be the best way to spend the money? Money does not go far! And remember, very few IC Departments have a budget at all! Budget allocation represents your company’s commitment to internal Communications – be suspicious if you are being asked to do it for nothing! Delegating responsibility can help share costs
Spending too much is as bad as spending too little in the eyes of your employees!
You will not get it right for everybody – but make every dollar count! IMPORTANT! 3: Time Your biggest challenge! 1: Get a clear brief, direction approval

2: Get information, images etc together

3: Produce your project

4: Getting feedback and making changes

5: Getting final approvals

6: Printing/uploading

7: Evaluating your success/debrief

Your boss wants you to produce an 8 page A4 newsletter every month. You will send it to an external printer
How long will it take to produce the newsletter (follow all the stages on the list)
Do you think you can do what your boss is asking within your current budget and with your current staff? DO NOT OVERPROMISE!
It will do your communication function damage in the long term. 4: Equipment = space to produce things, cameras, video recorders, a good photocopier 5: Authority The resources and access you are given show how important your company thinks IC and engagement are:
Job titles/seniority/authority
Access to senior management
Access to media channels WRITING YOUR PLAN Supports your company mission and goal = a strategic partner
Meets the your responsibilities as an IC Department
Reflects your real work situation

Has projects that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic , Time bound A GREAT PLAN 1 2 3 What COULD you do = think of all the possibilities What SHOULD you do = decide what is the most important What CAN you do = decide what is possible with your current resources Which of these words would you choose as possible headings for an Internal Communications plan.
What about the other words? How could you fit them in?
Make sure you don’t just think in terms of high profile projects, events and fun stuff. You also need to concentrate on developing your department and getting good structures in place. What do you want to achieve in the next 12-18 months? (Think of high level, strategic goals)
Add infrastructure goals ( growing your department, improving skills, setting policies)
Make these high level goals into headers Reorder your goals from most important to least important
Don’t neglect infrastructure goals!
For each strategic goal, put in some ideas for projects that will achieve your goal Look carefully – and honestly - again at your resources (time, money, expertise). What resources will you have available for the next year. Look at projects – can you achieve the same outcomes in a ‘cheaper’ way?
It is OK to change projects – but don’t alter your goals!
What can you honestly promise? Get the figures right and go for it! SENIOR MANAGERS MIDDLE MANAGERS FRONT LINE EMPLOYEES Encouragement and support
Advice on how to communicate around issues
Practical help – messages, training, position documents, events, presentations, roadshows etc
Data and feedback from front line employees
Help them understand how they influence the tone NEED.... Middle managers are ‘bridges’ and ‘translators’. ‘People management’ is mainly about communication and is a big part of a manager’s job.They are key in the engagement equation. They translate big picture messages into meaningful line of sight information. They are a trusted source of operational information and represent the company culture. They have to explain the difference between what the company says and what the company does!
Give training and support on how to communicate
Give practical tools – briefing sheets, FAQs, simple communication plans for projects
Set clear expectations on what, how and when to communicate
Give them the opportunity to feedback to senior managers and hear the opinions of staff
Give recognition and reward for doing a good job Your company reputation in largely in these people’s hands! Most their career with you with a positive attitude and want to do well! Information empowers employees to do a good job. If you aren’t proactive, then implicit messages (your systems, rewards etc) will speak for you!
Give access to a range of appropriate channels with messages that are relevant and timely
Give an opportunity to feedback opinions and share their experiences and expertise
Give clear expectations on what, how and when to communicate
Give recognition and reward for being good communicators FOR EXAMPLE... Support senior managers to provide a 'line of sight'.
Help them communicate their personality and vision. “This is where I am leading you and this is what I am doing.”
Encourage seniors to give real time to anything that reinforces engagement. (Middle managers need senior endorsement to gain acceptance for core values and key initiatives. )
Prepare clear, honest position statements and briefing sheets on key internal issues so seniors can give clear, consistent messages. Reinforce good behaviour!
Feedback constantly on how the internal audience is responding – especially positive messages about transparency and honesty. Start some annual internal communication awards Encourage “hot topic” sessions on departmental issues
Encourage departments to communicate current goals simply. Avoid flow charts, jargon and ‘corporate speak’.
Don’t just tell managers to “cascade” information! Give them real resources that help them communicate.
Be an active advocate for HR! Unless the basics are right you can forget the rest!Showcase examples of “great middle management communication”
Prepare real resources to help managers: briefing sheets, training on how give meaningful local messages, clear expectations on what to communicate, when and how.
Support and showcase empowerment and actions which support employee engagement. Make sure external news reaches your internal audience first – and show the link between local effort and the ‘big picture’.
Start a campaign to increase face to face time.
Set up internal customer service expectations and train staff.
Revitalize your boring old “suggestions scheme” – start by asking the staff how they would like it to work!
Make sure you are communicating:
Line of sight and how we are doing in the market
Staff feedback mechanismsIs feedback acted upon and if not why not?
Career information, training and development opportunities
Performance management and how it relates to promotion etc
What is rewarded and what is disciplined and how grievances are addressed
How suggestions and ideas are received and rewarded AVOID DISASTER! SENIOR MANAGERS WILL FAIL IF:
They Pretend to be something they are not
They don't communicate
They lie, go back on promises, avoid difficult issues, apply different standards to friends than to others, are inconsistent…. MIDDLE MANAGERS WILL FAIL IF:
Senior management undermineS them by sending out conflicting messages. This gives middle managers no chance of walking the talk!
Senior managers blame them for everything
Send out conflicting or hypocritical messages from the top e.g. “people are our greatest asset…. but reach your financial targets or lose your bonus!”
Have systems etc. which conflict with your engagement messages
Blame employees for everything
Don’t empower them COMMUNICATION AND ENGAGEMENT “In contrast to employee perceptions about the trustworthiness of senior executives, almost three quarters (72.6%) of employees trust their direct line managers ‘mostly’ or ‘completely’.”
Endaba Trust Research, January 2009 “Too often employees are grudgingly considered only after the message has been developed and executed… … Employees shouldn't be an afterthought; they're the foundation of a company's brand delivery mechanism and an essential audience for company communications.”

Marketers: Don't Ignore Your Company's Employees, William J. McEwen for Gallup, January 2006 “Even though employees will always want to hear from the top, no one's more influential than an employee's supervisor. Virtually all surveys show that a supervisor is the employee's preferred source of information.”

“Supervisors need to be super communicators” Melcrum, June 2008 “Trust is established through action and over time, and it is a leader’s responsibility to demonstrate what it means to keep your word and earn a reputation for trustworthiness."

Hank Paulson, former CEO, Goldman Sachs Lost trust is very difficult to rebuild. “The overwhelming majority of employees (89.7%) consider that rebuilding lost trust would be ‘difficult’, ‘very difficult’ or ‘almost impossible’."

Endaba Trust Research, January 2009 ! What makes for success? The right person in the job! Somebody who is good at being a bridge between functions and is comfortable working with seniorsHigh level buy in (an advocate at Board level ) and tangible commitmentStrong alliances throughout the business Sharing responsibility by making it an expectation for everybodyTraining people to deliverBeing authentic. If you don’t believe it, nobody else will!
Being pragmatic! There are lots of ways of making it work – the important thing is that somebody is taking responsibility Internal Communications (whoever does it!) must have some measure of input and control of communication channels so that they can be used effectively and in coordination Make internal communications a commitment at the highest level of the company
Find out how things stand now
Develop a strategy to move you forward
Invest resources in acting on your strategy WHAT NEXT? What to measure..... The message = what you say The medium = how you pass the message along How your function performs 1: OUTPUT 2: OUTAKE 3: OUTCOME = what you say = what people hear = how people's behaviour changes For example: data from IT, numbers of newsletters published, topics you choose to write about..... Find out what channels employees use most and which channels they prefer, how they find out information and what their preferences are, which topics are remembered, how important is the information ..... Look for better use of of media channels, better levels of information amongst employees, increased perception scores of “feeling informed’ and “knowing where to find information”, better Customer Satisfaction measures, higher employee retention, higher employee engagement scores. Desk research – counting what alread goes on
Talking to other departments (IT, CSI, Quality, HR)
Surveys (quantative data = numbers)
Focus groups, blank posters, World Café, My Story meetings (qualitative data = feelings, impressions, stories, ideas, anecdotes) HOW? Only 34% of companies have a measurement strategy
Use your data in your next planning cycle – to power improvements and inspire change
Show your numbers to all your stakeholders.
Make them meaningful – use them to tell a story in the language your audience understands
Explain what action you have decided on as a result of your research … and follow through Help senior managers build trust through good communication
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