Fem spørgsmål om strategisk medarbejderkommunikation
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Hvad er mantraet bag intern kommunikation, og hvordan knækker man som HR- eller kommunikationsansvarlig koden til at skabe godt medarbejderengagement, implementere en organisationsstrategi og sikre udførelsen heraf? Den britiske kommunikationskonsulent Liam Fitzpatrick er ekspert i intern kommunikation og giver dig fem spørgsmål, du kan stille dig selv, så du ved, hvor du skal målrette indsatsen i din organisation.
“Does it make the car go faster?” is the first and last question in Formula One Motorsport - or so they say. It is the one thing that connects the whole of the sport and everyone in it. That single-minded purpose that guides all decisions and propels all actions towards the goal of being faster or better still, the fastest.
 
So what is the one thing that connects internal communications - what is the professional mantra? - or is the world of internal communication just too varied and complicated to be reduced to a simple mantra?
 
Expert in internal communications Liam Fitzpatrick. 
 
Every organisation is unique, facing its own set of challenges for internal communications. Even those organisations which are born of the same blood are as different as the many people that make them what they are. Every workplace comprises a distinctive mix of ages, genders, backgrounds and cultures. What might excite people in the office, may annoy the team in the factory. It is foolish to think that all internal audiences are the same. They are not and they each need to be considered by the internal communication professionals when they are doing their work.

This is why, when we hear case studies from our peers, we are intrigued but often quick to dismiss the ideas because “that would not really work here…”. But are our challenges so very different? Whilst every organisation has to find its own answers, I argue that there are just five essential questions that every communicator needs to address. If you want to understand the strategic value of employee communication, these five tests will show you where to concentrate your energy.

1. Will it make people want to stay?
 
At the heart of every engagement campaign is the need to make good people want to stay. Spend five minutes with the HR-team and they will tell you of the never-ending process of retaining skilled people and the cost of unwanted staff turnover. Sooner or later you will hear managers complain about projects that were stalled or failed, or of low productivity - all for the want of experienced and motivated employees.
 
An internal communicator can do much to improve this - make people want to stay and make them feel good about where they work. Showing off achievements, celebrating success, and sharing the good work that people do to make a difference to the outside world, are just some of the ways internal communication can show what a great career is on offer.
 
Ask yourself: Will it make people want to stay? Foto: Gettyimages/Rocco Baviera. 

2. What will it do for collaboration?
 
Increasingly, organisations are realizing how important it is to empower departments and people in their business to collaborate. Internal communication can help organisations explore what innovation means to them, how they solve problems and get people working outside of their traditional boundaries.

3. Does it help people work harder and better?
 
Internal communications grew from the need to get people to do the things that matter. From working safely to following rules and processes, internal communication can have a massive impact on an organisation’s performance, making it a safer place to work and more productive - to name just a couple of big organisational goals. But communicators who embrace efficiency as an objective find themselves thinking beyond posters and websites; they get involved in leadership conversations, becoming strategic advisors, helping the business evolve and grow.
 
Think beyond posters and websites. Instead, get involved in leadership conversations. Foto: Gettyimages/Gunther Kleinert. 

4. Will it promote our organisation externally?
 
The most potent driver of an organisation’s reputation is not advertising or even PR, it is the people who work there. What they say about where they work is what truly shapes opinions and an organisation’s external reputation no matter how much is spent on advertising and PR.
Keeping employees informed, giving them a voice and listening to it, in the good times and the bad, makes good business sense. Employees can be the most powerful advocates and ambassadors during a crisis and times of peace.
 
 
Mød konsulenten, og få flere gode råd til intern kommunikation på kurset Få forretningsstrategien til at leve i organisationen.
 

5. How does it support change?
 
If internal communication is incidental or tangential to the big agendas where we work, we are either missing the point or missing the opportunity to make a big difference to our organisations. Internal communication is crucial to organisational change and transformation. How can employees be expected to change their behaviours if they do not know or understand why they should do it?
 
 
Play the 'five why's' game. Then you can get to the fundamental issues of your organisation. Foto: agendastrategies. 

I always say: When I run training courses I encourage people to play the ‘five why’s’ game. By asking ‘why’ repeatedly, like a small child, when faced with any business problem you can really get to the fundamental issues and understand what is really needed.

So instead of reacting to a request for an intranet page or a leadership event at a tactical level, we need to probe more deeply and ask why. The situation will quickly develop into an understanding of what the organisation is really trying to achieve.
 
Most of the time you will end up with one of the five core reasons for internal communication: retention, collaboration, effectiveness, advocacy or transformation. Crucially, when you know which of these problems you are trying to solve you’ll be more efficient and effective, making your organisation move faster, more openly and more successfully. 
 
 

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