There’s no question that the past year has been tough for plenty of businesses and the people within them. Since the beginning of the global pandemic, internal comms teams have been under new pressures, taking on the enormous responsibility of keeping employees engaged in increasingly challenging circumstances. That job isn’t done just yet.
The world of work is continuing to undergo change. Though the worst of the pandemic is behind us, the impact it’s had on many businesses will be seen for years to come. Home working, for example, is unlikely to disappear any time soon. In fact, according to a recent PwC survey, up to 70% of workers are anxious to return to office working.
It’s changed how we engage with the businesses we work for too. Though we saw huge peaks in engagement in the first half of 2020, it’s likely this was down to the excitement and potential of new working methods coupled with the fear of the unknown ahead. Over a year on, we’ve seen more peaks and troughs when it comes to engagement and, for many, those have occurred on a personal timeline, making it even trickier for internal comms teams to address.
In recent months, though, exhaustion seems to have set in. Many businesses have reported disconnected or burnt-out colleagues and falling productivity as a result. As the division responsible for guiding employees through fast-moving changes, it’s up to internal comms professionals to find a solution and change the narrative. Now is the perfect time for an internal comms reset.
Take time to recharge Here at DRPG, we begun this ‘resetting’ process by first taking time to recharge. Following our summer conference, we’ve been encouraging the entire business to take time away from the desk to do something new, to take time for themselves and to rediscover passion for the exciting stuff we do every day.
Many are doing the same. Right now, we’re seeing leaders invest in people issues, with up to 55% stepping up support for burnt-out employees this year. Most are starting to look for technological solutions to support new ways of working too. By taking the time to step back and assess the needs of your business, you can discover new clarity and build a bespoke plan for your IC reset this September.
Find your purpose Purpose is more important now than it’s ever been. For your colleagues to feel engaged and actively participate, they need to feel that everyone is living your values. Reputation, both internally and externally, is built on how comms align with values, so it’s important to ensure your values are understood and your IC team always have them in mind.
Charlotte Ross, publisher at the Evening Standard, explains that “injecting a real level of meaning to what your business does and what you do in your life is going to become a driving force across society.” For employees, that means feeling like their work means something. For internal comms teams, that means communicating why every person matters.
Reset the narrative Once you’re ready to reset – and the time really is now – we’d recommend using every tool at your disposal in order to really engage your colleagues. It sounds obvious, but many internal comms professionals are overlooking vital information when forming their content plans. According to the most recent ‘State of the Sector’ report, only 18% of IC professionals are using employee personas and, perhaps even more surprisingly, just 65% have comms plans in place for key campaigns. Don’t be like them.
Use the data you have to build campaigns which will wow the entirety of your business. Plan ahead and vary your content – no one is getting excited about just another email.
If you know your internal comms need to excite, but aren’t sure how to make it happen, we’re here to help. As a creative comms agency which produces everything from engaging copy to fully designed assets and absorbing film, we can make your IC sing. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org