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Developing an Internal Communication Strategy to drive your organization past the competition Rodney Gray, Director Employee Communication & Surveys Sydney,

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Presentation on theme: "Developing an Internal Communication Strategy to drive your organization past the competition Rodney Gray, Director Employee Communication & Surveys Sydney,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing an Internal Communication Strategy to drive your organization past the competition Rodney Gray, Director Employee Communication & Surveys Sydney, Australia

2 2 What is internal communication? n Not essentially to do with media, messages, senders and receivers, noise or interference n Its really about the transfer of MEANING or understanding (not just moving information) n More than this, its to do with changing the behavior of the organizations employees n Its an investment to facilitate or support the achievement of the organizations goals

3 3 Turning all eyes outward The real purpose of effective communication within an organization is to achieve a common understanding and focus on what the organization is trying to achieve in the marketplace. The only argument powerful enough to encourage people to embrace change is one that is rooted in the marketplace. Roger DAprix p.3

4 4 Exactly why does your organization communicate? n Do you have a communication strategy? n How is your communication linked to the organizations vision, mission, objectives? n Do you simply pump out more information in the hope that employees will be better informed about the organization and thus perform better? n Take the test: assess your communication programs - what are you trying to achieve?

5 5 Just how well do you understand your organizations requirements? n What are the Charter, Vision, Mission, Goals? n What are the key philosophies and values? n What do the short and long-range plans for each division or business unit tell you? n How do various stakeholders think youre going? n What are the strengths and weaknesses? n Do you need to interview executives of various business units to find out communication needs?

6 6 HOW EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATION CAN HELP ACHIEVE ORGANIZATIONAL OBJECTIVES ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE EMPLOYEE BEHAVIOUR ORGANIZATIONAL OBJECTIVES EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATION Organizations policies, procedures processes, systems rules, guidelines culture, norms formal training etc. Employees skills competence knowledge beliefs values, habits motivations etc. The organization must perform if objectives are to be achieved By assessing organizational objectives organizational performance employee behaviour required - you can decide how to communicate to influence employee behaviour Organizational performance depends on the behaviour of employees Employee behaviour is influenced by organizational and individual factors such as these © Rodney Gray, 1997

7 7 Organiza- tional Performance Organiza- tional Performance Actions People Take Decision Moments Financial Performance Financial Performance Infrastructure Context Vision/ Strategy Linkage Role Support Infrastructure Leadership Media James Shaffers model [Presentation to IABC Conference, June 1999]

8 8 n What leaders do and dont do n What they ask n Who they recognise n Rewards n Measurement n Structure n Programs, policies n Meetings/huddles n Scorecards n Financial statements n Memos, publications n Web-based technology Infrastructure Leadership Media

9 9 Context Vision/ Strategy Linkage Role Support The big picture What well look like and how well get there Whats in it for me How I influence results Resources including information I need to influence results Leadership, infrastructure and media provide these things:

10 10 How and what to communicate to support the organization strategy? n How exactly does the organization have to perform, or improve, to achieve success? n What do employees have to do, not do, or do differently, for the organization to perform better? n What behaviours can you influence? How? n Can you change attitudes or understanding? n What decision moments can be influenced so that employees take the actions required?

11 11 What internal communication approaches will have impact? n Leadership: what leaders do or not do; what they ask about; who they recognize n Infrastructure: reward, measures, structure, policy, procedures etc. n Media: has a very limited support role to leaders, infrastructure Jim Shaffer

12 12 How to measure your success n Measure the extent your communications have caused employee behaviour change n Measure progress towards achievement of goals, or performance of various divisions n Measure how satisfied your various internal audiences are with communication overall, and with different aspects and tools (but this is clearly not as good as the first above)

13 13 Employees usually know what they have to do to perform well n It is not appropriate to specify the behaviour of knowledge workers as with some others n They need a degree of freedom as to how to achieve their objectives and perform well n They know what information and relationships they need to do their jobs well n So measuring employees opinion of the quality of communication with them is very useful

14 14 As a minimum you must satisfy employees information needs n Ideally you need to satisfy both organizational and employees communication needs n In Australia no research findings exist as yet as to how well organizational needs are met n But there is plenty of research as to how well employees communication needs are being met n Our research overseas indicates Australian findings are typical of those in Western countries

15 15 Australian employees are not at all satisfied with communication n Overall, only 38% of Australian employees surveyed are satisfied with communication with them n More than 1 in 4 are not satisfied with communication with them

16 16 Aspects which correlate strongly with overall satisfaction are poor n With senior 38% management n Upward 41% communication n Consultation40% & involvement n About change36% n Across the 30% organisation Correlations 0.7 - 0.55

17 17 Moderate correlates with overall satisfaction are a bit better n Strategic51% direction n Performance53% feedback n Immediate61% supervisor n Job 71% information Correlations around 0.5

18 18 Tools are okay, but have a very low correlation with satisfaction n Executive57% roadshows n Intranet56% n Results52% presentations n Company 48% publication n Email44% Correlations 0.3 or less

19 19 Most Australian employees say internal communication is lousy n 24% positive - leading regional bank n 25% positive - financial services company n 24% positive - state government department n 25% positive - national insurance company n 34% positive - another insurance company n 47% positive - same company a year later n 42% positive - leading transport company n 47% positive - leading global merchant bank n 55% positive - national food manufacturer

20 20 ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE COMMUNICATION MODEL - two-way dialogue - employee feedback - effective listening - upward communications - involvement - recognition Consider: - employees mindsets - what employees know - what you want them to know and understand - what they want to know - desired behaviours Communication Strategy Communication Objectives Content Strategy Consider employees preferred content: - impact on self - workplace future - business unit plans - personal goals - individual feedback - customer feedback - whats happening - change initiatives - career opportunities - training and development - where do I fit in - how can I help Media Strategy Consider employees preferred media: - face-to-face - immediate supervisor - local work group - one to one - small groups Primary strategy: to communicate to and support supervisors or immediate managers Secondary: news by e-mail or voicemail c Rodney Gray 1997 Organisational outcomes Demonstrated - behaviour, skills - understanding - knowledge Stakeholders or audiences - apprentices - shopfloor - team leaders - supervisors - trades people - professionals - clerical staff - managers - executives - various locations - various languages - illiterate Evaluation Process Vision Mission Objectives Goals Strategies Direction Charter Values Philosophies Guiding principles Credo Long-term plan Five-year plan Annual report Organizational change objectives

21 21 Communication Strategy ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE COMMUNICATION MODEL Communication Objectives Content Strategy Media Strategy Evaluation Process c Rodney Gray 1997 Evaluation Process Stakeholders or audiences Organizational outcomes

22 22 Finally, please remember n Meaning v. information n Support organizations objectives not entertain n Understand goals etc. n Ensure communication changes behaviour n Regularly assess your communications n Leaders, infrastructure more critical than media n As a minimum satisfy employees info needs - or they cant perform well n Chances are employees are not satisfied with internal communication n Communication plan to cover strategy, content, media and evaluation n Measure impact on your organizations objectives

23 23 Take the test yourself - when was the last time you....? n...reviewed the operating plans for all divisions n...interviewed executives about what they need n...measured impact of programs on behaviour n...asked employee audiences how well internal communication helps them do their jobs well n...worked with HR to measure and upgrade the leadership/communication skills of all managers n...assessed the communication impact of the infrastructure thoughout the organisation

24 24 Appendix - one way to measure your impact on behaviour n The Body Shop designs communication programs which go to certain stores only - the others are used as controls (they do not get the new communication) n Staff behaviour is measured in all stores both before and after the communication program n They can thereby assess the impact on staff (how much behaviour changed as a result of the program) in the experimental stores

25 25 References n DAprix, Roger Communicating for Change: connecting the Workplace to the Marketplace, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1996 [vital reading] n Gray, Rodney Measuring Behaviour Change: the real destination (Vol.1, Issue 1,Dec 1998 / Jan 1999) and The Fine Art of the Communication Audit Vol. 2, Issue 2, Feb 2000 Total Communication Measurement, Melcrum, UK & US n Shaffer, James Connecting the Dots: Linking People to Strategy - Paper to IABC Conference, Washington, 21 June, 1999 [excellent model]

26 26 Other useful references n Block, Peter Stewardship, Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco, 1993 [on partnership with staff] n Pincus, J. David and Nicholas DeBonis Top Dog, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1994 [on the CEOs critical internal communication responsibilities] n Quirke, Bill Communicating Corporate Change, McGraw-Hill, London, 1996 [comprehensive tome] n Senge, Peter The Fifth Discipline, Doubleday, New York, 1990 [Chapter 11 on Shared Vision] n www.employee-communication.com.au

27 27 Contact details Rodney Gray, Director Employee Communication & Surveys Pty Ltd Level 10, MLC Centre, Martin Place Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia Phone 61 2 9235 3900 Fax 61 2 9235 3040 rodneygray1@compuserve.com www.employee-communication.com.au

28 HOW EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATION CAN HELP ACHIEVE ORGANIZATIONAL OBJECTIVES ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE EMPLOYEE BEHAVIOUR ORGANIZATIONAL OBJECTIVES EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATION Organizations policies, procedures processes, systems rules, guidelines culture, norms formal training etc. Employees skills competence knowledge beliefs values, habits motivations etc. The organization must perform if objectives are to be achieved By assessing organizational objectives organizational performance employee behaviour required - you can decide how to communicate to influence employee behaviour Organizational performance depends on the behaviour of employees Employee behaviour is influenced by organizational and individual factors such as these © Rodney Gray, 1997

29 ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE COMMUNICATION MODEL - two-way dialogue - employee feedback - effective listening - upward communications - involvement - recognition Consider: - employees mindsets - what employees know - what you want them to know and understand - what they want to know - desired behaviours Communication Strategy Communication Objectives Content Strategy Consider employees preferred content: - impact on self - workplace future - business unit plans - personal goals - individual feedback - customer feedback - whats happening - change initiatives - career opportunities - training and development - where do I fit in - how can I help Media Strategy Consider employees preferred media: - face-to-face - immediate supervisor - local work group - one to one - small groups Primary strategy: to communicate to and support supervisors or immediate managers Secondary: news by e-mail or voicemail c Rodney Gray 1997 Organisational outcomes Demonstrated - behaviour, skills - understanding - knowledge Stakeholders or audiences - apprentices - shopfloor - team leaders - supervisors - trades people - professionals - clerical staff - managers - executives - various locations - various languages - illiterate Evaluation Process Vision Mission Objectives Goals Strategies Direction Charter Values Philosophies Guiding principles Credo Long-term plan Five-year plan Annual report Organizational change objectives


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