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Internal comms: Hard to get right

15/10/2013

How should internal communications professionals ensure they are engaging with the workforce? Technology can be useful in many ways, but it isn't always the answer. With outsourcing and remote working making offices more atomised, it is difficult to know what approach to take.

Leanne Tritton, managing director of ING Media, identifies this uncertainty as one of the biggest problems facing internal communications in the modern world.

Writing for BD Magazine, she said: "Most companies (including my own) have a problem in making sure that meaningful and useful information filters to the right parts of the organisation at the right time."

As HR teams and other experts emphasise the importance of keeping staff engaged by offering them a stake in how their company is acting and progressing, internal comms professionals are facing the problem of spreading this kind of data effectively.

The days when a board and some blu-tack would be enough to solve this problem are long gone.

Furthermore, Ms Tritton points out that the glut of electronic communications the modern worker is subjected to makes it difficult to break through the white noise and actually provide interesting content through this medium.

"Human contact remains the most powerful and efficient way to communicate - not necessarily formal meetings, but chats where people can exchange facts and details about a subject," she posited.

While this may not be practical in all cases - forcing busy workers to take some time off for a casual conversation will probably be met with frustration - it is true that stepping away from the laptop and ensuring personal links remain strong is important.

If you want to garner opinions about a new initiative or assess the mood among employees, having an open conversation with them is often a better option than sending out another boiler-plate email or corporate newsletter.

Limiting electronic communication and attempting to drive up face-to-face interaction is one solution for internal comms experts adapting to the modern workplace.

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