What would be your greatest hope for the internal communication profession for the year 2017? Today, five IC thought leaders respond to this question: Jim Shaffer, Dr. Kevin Ruck, Aniisu K. Verghese, Jonathan Champ and Paul Barton. Here’s what they hope for :
« I hope internal communication professionals will take a lesson from their HR colleagues who’ve shifted their work from low value-adding personnel administration work to building their organization’s workforce capabilities. Internal communication professionals need to stop churning out activities that add little to no value and start helping their organizations improve results and value by eliminating communication breakdowns that make it tough for employees to do their work. Opportunities are huge for communication practitioners who want to play a major role in running the business. »
Jim Shaffer, Leader, Jim Shaffer Group
«My big hope for 2017 is that internal communication practitioners will send out less stuff and use the saved time to help senior managers to listen more. On the whole, as a profession, we do great work in keeping employees informed. And that’s important. But it’s just one half of the job. It’s the ying without the yang. Information and employee voice are interconnected and add up to much higher levels of engagement when combined.»
Kevin Ruck, Co-founder PR Academy
« The state of internal communication is gradually improving although there is more we can aspire to do. My hope is that the profession gets more
inclusive in its approach to driving organizational change and success.
- Inclusive in taking managers along to become better communicators.
- Inclusive such that different generations at the workplace feel they belong. It is predicted that there will be 5 generations working together by 2020.
- Inclusive in being sensitive about helping employees make sense of communication and manage the ‘noise’. Employees are overwhelmed by the amount of messages they receive.
- Inclusive in giving employees a voice at the workplace.
- Inclusive in inviting and embracing ideas beyond the profession such as drawing on insights from
research and academia to grow the function.
- Inclusive in thinking about the future of the organization and not just that profession.»
Aniisu K. Verghese, Corporate Communications & CSR Lead at Tesco Bengaluru
« My hope for our profession in 2017 is that we take bigger steps as facilitators of shared meaning - and as a result, shared value - in organizations:
- using disruption as an opportunity to solve new problems, deepening
collaboration with other disciplines, and ensuring that the future of work is
built on human dialogue.
- using disruption - whether technological, industrial, social or economic -
as an opportunity to test everything we do against a simple purpose: do we
help people make sense of their working life in a way that grows contribution?
Internal communication is the business of sense-making: we work at our best at the intersection of how people are experiencing their organisation, and where that organisation wants them to be. My hope for our profession in 2017 is that we develop our practices in ways that contribute: creating connections, cutting through complexity, and growing empathy. I hope we can be forward-looking and human. If Internal Communications is a startup, maybe it is time for us to pivot and reinvent in response to the disruption around us. »
Jonathan Champ, Founder and Chief Consultant, Meaning Business
« My biggest hope for internal communications in the coming year is that we focus less on sending messages out and more on creating authentic dialogues with and between employees. Changes in the economy, the culture and technology demand we sharpen our focus. Now more than ever, authenticity is critical to connecting the minds of an organization’s leaders with the hearts of its employees. We also need to enable and facilitate peer-to-peer collaboration between employees through enterprise social networks and other means. I believe great things will happen for organizations that embrace these opportunities in 2017. »
Paul Barton, Principal Consultant Paul Barton Communications LLC
This post is the second of a series of 5:
Part 1 - What we hope for IC in 2017
Part 3 - Hope for IC in the new year
Part 4 - Wishes for the profession of IC
Part 5 - What IC needs in 2017