5 KEY WAYS INTERNAL COMMS CAN HELP IN BUILDING AND MAINTAINING CULTURE.
Ensure the leadership team are visible, accessible and authentic
Culture is led from the top but needs to be lived and breathed by everyone. Internal comms teams need to make sure that the leadership are kept visible and their messages shared in an authentic way. There are multiple ways of keeping the CEO and leadership team visible without them having to visit every office location and team. Making small changes such as getting senior leaders to video share important business messages allows employees to receive it directly, rather than diluted down through middle managers or missed via email.
Create belief in the values, purpose and strategy
On many occasions’ employees don’t buy in to strategy because quite simply they don’t know what it is. Internal comms teams can help change this mind set by creating ways for employees to get involved, whether it’s by creating cascade packs for line managers, putting on a roadshow for the leadership team or an all-staff conference to share business strategy face to face to get employees on board. Investing time and money in this will definitely make a measurable different to not only your culture but your bottom line too.
Consistent regular communication that is relevant to your different audiences
One of the key roles of internal communications professionals is to efficiently and effectively deliver communication to the whole business. Whilst email is the most widely used channel for delivering internal communication, it is also classed as the most ineffective. Virgin Media Business suggest carrying out segmentation research, so you know by function and department how people like to receive information and even what really matters to them, then create a messaging framework.
Make employees feel like they are being listened to
Internal communication shouldn’t just be transmitted, more importantly it needs to be received. It’s important to give employees the platforms to feedback and input. At Top Banana we have a forum called “Banana buddies” where representatives in the business collate feedback from the wider team. This is then discussed in a monthly meeting and then shared at the monthly staff meeting. It gives a voice to all employees and they know it’s been listened to and acted on.
Keeping culture on track
Whilst it should originate from the top, businesses can grow and change rapidly and as such the culture often changes with it. Internal comms needs to help make sure the culture is always maintained and consistent no matter how much the business grows or changes. Virgin Media created a focus group called ‘The National Voice Forum’ which is an employee consultative committee across national, divisional and local committees. The group helps sense check any campaigns or messages that go out to the wider workforce to make sure they are in line with culture.