IC AROUND THE WORLD

 Views on internal communication from

Republic of Turkey

 

Interview with

Elif Şanlıer

Owner of BIS Internal Communication Agency

 

IC Around The World is a series of interviews with communication professionals from around the globe working in the field of internal communication. 

 

They share their views on the practice of internal communication in their countries, and tell us who and what they are paying attention to in the world of IC. 

How has internal communication developed in your country in recent years?

 

Turkey is a country where trends in the world are followed and consumed very quickly. Our openness to innovation is very important and good. But there is a habit of quickly passing through the next step without fully embracing the developments and recognizing the implications. In our country ıt is still complicated that internal communication is a specific area of either Marketing or Human Resources. Human Resources is a little more dominating in this area. The marketing teams usually don’t care enough about the difference between internal communication as external communication. My desire is that it be an independent field to which both departments contribute. When we look generally, internal communication in Turkey has progressed in two different ways in recent years. On the one hand, there are firms that strategically adopt intrinsic, accurate, and bi-directional communication methods that really focus on in-house welfare and employee experience. There are many factors in this progress such as the increase of organizations like Great Place To Work, the increase of the channels that will hear the employees voice, the changing of the generation, practical solutions presented in digital.

 

In general, positive trends in Turkey include:

 

  • Digitalization in internal communication

  • Personalization

  • Storytelling

  • Employee Experience

  • Communication with Data

 

In addition to these, I think that authenticity will become more important in the coming years.

When we look at the other side, there is a stream of more promotional, non-philosophical activities for the sake of appearances . For example, on mother's day, gifts are distributed to female employees, but there is no room for breastfeeding for mothers in the same company. The work done here is actually done only for the employer brand in social media. They lag behind seeing employees as a materialist mass and empathizing. At the end of the day you see the people who have drinking catered  hot chocolates  but have no real employee voice. The result: wasted budget and people who can not be happy.

 

What do you currently see as the greatest challenges for internal communication in your world?

 

I think the biggest challenge in internal communication is for the market not to get the importance of it. We do not force our imagination to understand what internal communication really is, how big a change it can make for a company, and how we can touch employee lives. A person gets his first education from his family, then the school continues to grow with his life. The area where an adult person feeds the most is business life. It acquires new habits with the corporate culture that it is included and continues to nourish the environment with these habits. When you change something positively in people’s lives, they reflect it to their surroundings. It is very important for organizations to understand that communication for the customer is very serious, and communication for employees is at least as important. Because the people who touch the customers are also employees. What you give your employees, they will give it to your costumers.

 

What do you see as the biggest opportunities for internal communication to make a difference in the next year or two?

Digital solutions really offer great opportunities. Turkey is a country of start ups that offer very creative solutions in this regard. We are able to find innovations that enrich the awarding, suggestion systems, onboarding, intranets and many internal channels.

My vision is in the direction of moving internal communication to above-the-line communication channels. I believe that a holistic communication strategy will be adopted that will serve not only the communication that exists within the corporate but also the employer's brand.

In Republic of Turkey, the biggest challenge in internal communication is for the market not to get the importance of it.

It is very important for organizations to understand that communication for the customer is very serious, and communication for employees is at least as important.

It is very important for organizations to understand that communication for the customer is very serious, and communication for employees is at least as important. Because the people who touch the customers are also employees. What you give your employees, they will give it to your costumers.

ABOUT Elif Şanlıer 

Elif Şanlıer is the owner of BIS Internal Communication Agency. She is an internal communication strategist.; she is also the Republic of Turkey’s first employee experience designer.

Elif graduated from the Public Relations and Publicity Department of the Faculty of Communication at Istanbul University, then completed the Master of Strategic Brand Management from Marmara University. She also studied with the Employer Branding Collage Leadership Program.

 

Elif has worked for many years in different companies, managing internal communication and employer branding projects, and has won national and international awards. She also provides training to corporates about internal communication and culture issues.

What internal communication resources (websites, conferences, associations) do you make the most use of, other than IC Kollectif?

 

​I follow many conferences held in Turkey on this field. Apart from that, IC Kollectif, Institute of Internal Communication, CEB Global, IABC, and Employer Branding College especially have been truly useful to me. I also follow the pages and posts of the agencies that produce the content in the areas that will feed me. (Hodes, Terryberry, Officevibe, Baudville, Brillantink, The Future Organization, etc.)

 

Who are the international internal comms experts and personalities you pay attention to the most?

Brett Minchington, Rachel Miller, Jacob Morgan, Mike Klein and Nikki Edwards are the first to come to mind.

Have you came across a piece of data - a study/report/research/case study/article - that proves your bosses/clients the value of IC investment generally, or to support a particular tactic or initiative?

I have read many articles containing similar statistics. But I did not read a post on recycling directly. I am working on this topic at the moment, and I am happy to share with you when I have finished working.