Our regular look at some of the news, views and opinions from around the wonderful world of IC…
Internal comms is the most important of all the communications disciplines, according to Amazon’s Stuart Jackson.
And he’s someone who should know – he’s the e-commerce giant’s International Corporate Communications Director.
“It’s a simple theory,” explains Stuart. “Winning the hearts and minds of your customers will only be successful − and lead to long-lasting relationships − if you’ve already won the hearts and minds of the people you pay to keep them happy… your employees.
“And, along with your customers, your employees can be either your greatest advocates, or your fiercest critics.
“They will act as the most powerful advertisers or the loudest harbingers of doom with friends, family and their social network.
“They’ll be your most ardent defenders or your most aggrieved agitators.
“So, raising the bar of your internal comms to match the quality and care of your external comms is obvious, right?”
Stuart says at least Amazon knows its worth, and there’s been a big transformation there over the past 15 years, with a significant investment in powerful, creative and authentic internal communications.
“There’s still much that can be done, but the difference is night and day,” he adds.
JUST BE TRANSPARENT…
Meanwhile, Vanesa Cotlar reckons the best perk you can offer your employees is transparency.
VP People and Culture at PolicyMe, Vanesa says without transparency, any other perk you provide may fall totally flat.
“If your company is doing well, your employees should understand why,” she explains. “If your company is doing poorly, your employees should understand why.
“When someone is doing an amazing job, they should be clear as to why their performance is awesome. When someone is not performing well, they should hear about it quickly, directly and kindly.
“When you offer transparency in all areas of how you operate, your employees function within a safe space. They know what is going on in the business and how they fit into it. Plus, they feel comfortable being transparent too.
“When you don’t offer transparency, employees are often confused and misaligned. It’s hard to work towards a common goal when you are unclear as to what the goal is, how the company is doing against it or how you are doing against the expectations that were set for you.
“Transparency is a hard muscle to build. It takes being honest. It takes being direct. It takes being kind. It takes ownership.
“People want to work in environments that are transparency-first.”
TELL ME A STORY
Elsewhere, internal comms manager David Manning was delighted to see a record number of delegates joining the latest Engage for Success event on leadership, purpose and the art of storytelling.
Here are David’s three top takeaways from the session…
- Help leaders identify key messages they want to include in their stories. These should align with their leadership goals, personal and business values and, of course, the business priorities.
- Everyone has a story. Leaders can learn so much from listening to colleagues at all levels. Ask senior leaders to help judge annual recognition awards as part of a broader visibility plan. They’ll be humbled and inspired by the stories shared by colleagues.
- People need to see themselves in their company story.
HAVE YOUR SAY
And finally, Crystle Pearce, Specialist Internal Communications Recruitment Consultant at VMA GROUP, is encouraging internal comms professionals to contribute to some new research.
“Internal communications professionals, this is one survey you want to complete,” she says.
She’s urging people to take part in VMA GROUP’s 10th edition of the Inside Insight internal communications report for 2023.
“We’re wanting to make this one the biggest and best it has ever been, so please complete the survey and share it with your IC community. We will share the findings with you, and I am sure it will be insightful reading.”
Any thoughts on the power of internal communications, being more transparent with your employees, or leaders as storytellers? Drop us a line or comment below, and we’ll be back with more IC news next month.