Reading the headline you might be thinking: ‘I wonder who IC believers are’. I will circle back to this shortly, but first let me share one of my favourite quotes with you. It is from a Greek philosopher, Heraclitus and it goes like this: “Change is the only constant.”
He lived circa 2,500 years ago and his words remain true today. This quote could be seen as a warning for us to be prepared for the unknown. On the other hand, it could also be seen as a promise of new opportunities to explore, evolve and grow.
So what does the year 2017 hold for internal communicators? Will change remain a common theme in the coming months? And who are the IC believers?
According to our recent survey, 1 in 2 internal communications (IC) professionals feel IC is viewed as a channel in their organisation rather than an audience with many different interests and needs. This means that half of the organisations do not see or believe in the full potential of what great internal communications can deliver for them.
Seeing the survey results surprised me, particularly as we are living in an era where strategic IC regularly make headlines; there is strong evidence that effective IC can increase employee productivity and talent retention; and company board rooms are filled with IC buzzwords, such as:
Can the arms of the clock signify a change in the status quo?
We know that many companies have been investing in their employee communications for many years with outstanding results, including Deloitte, Nationwide and AXA to just name a few from those recognised at the 2016 CIPR Inside Awards.
For others, this could be The Year when their organisations that haven’t already done so, embrace IC as a strategic function, and become ‘IC believers’; first enabling them to break the invisible mould, then helping them to reimagine their approach to connecting with their employees. Having the right measurements in place, creating comprehensive reports and analysing the results can help them through this process.
We know that industry experts have a strong desire to make changes in their respective areas by becoming part of the important discussions and delivering results to their full potential. Here are a few examples from a recent interview with IC thought leaders:
“For 2017, I hope that IC professionals embrace their integral role in delivering business results from the inside out.”
“…shifting our focus from the traditional role we inhabited as communications gatekeepers for our leaders, to instead coaching them to be their genuine selves through engaging communication and conversation.”
“I’d like to see companies invest more in internal communications including opening requisitions for more senior level strategic positions.”
We are on the brink of change. Some have already started this journey, whilst others might need to jump through some barriers to join them on the road. Whatever the date in the calendar might be, the opportunity exists for all to explore, evolve and grow – just as it did 2,500 years ago.
The new possibilities and progress will surely help many industry experts find a new spring in their steps in 2017.
For more insights and ideas, flip through the Ruder Finn Report: Taking internal communications out of its comfort zone and get in touch with us at InternalComms@ruderfinn.co.uk .