On Friday I had a great conversation with an amazing HR Director who I admire. I asked her advice on a few issues and we started chatting about Internal Comms and the role it plays in an organisation.
This got me thinking about IC in general. Those of you who know me know that I'm passionate about IC and everything it stands for. For me the role is making sure we help support conversation between leaders and colleagues using a variety of methods. This is to ensure that colleagues are motivated and engaged so they feel empowered enough to deliver towards the business objectives, aims and vision. You may or may not agree with my definition but Rachel Miller has written a great blog where you can check out other views.
As Internal Communicators we are often the link between leaders and front line staff. We're the ear to the ground and are generally seen as trusted advisors but some of us still have to work hard to get a seat round the table.
Over the years I've spoken to many IC professionals about how they are perceived in their organisation. It's led to really interesting conversations and over time I've picked up some top tips that seemed to have helped me and others in getting their voice heard.
Get yourself out there. Spend some time understanding and getting to know people across the organisation. Without knowing what they do or how they work you will struggle to build trust with them.
Ask questions. If you don't ask questions how will you know the answer or be able to do a robust comms plan. Nobody will ever begrudge you asking a genuine question about something you don't understand. In fact, it shows you're interested in them and what they do.
Be innovative. There's nothing wrong with thinking differently than your peers. In fact I'd say it was in our DNA to be the quirky ones with creative ideas. With change becoming the norm we need to make sure we're keeping on top of our game.
Keep learning. It's easy when you're an in house communicator to sometimes forgo your own development. You're often working on your own or with a very small team so time is scarce. However, keeping on top of your learning will make sure you are always one step ahead.
Prove your worth. There has been much debate around measuring Internal Comms and the value it adds. Some people say it's difficult to measure. This can be true – sure it isn't as easy as other functions but it's not impossible. Look at some of the metrics you have available round you:
- Engagement scores
- Absence rates
- Customer satisfaction
- Performance rate
- Intranet views
- Click/open rates
- Followers on yammer/FB etc
These can all be used to pull together an amazing dashboard to show how IC can influence these metrics.
What do you think of these tips? Do you have any more to add? Let me know down below…