Posts Tagged ‘comms’

We’ve been busy building a new website for CIPR Inside members and the wider internal communication professional community. www.ciprinside.co.uk. It’s exciting times for CIPR Inside as we  have more events, more collaboration and engagement with professionals in our industry and grow in numbers.

The new site has been scheduled to tie into Putting Employees first in November and #Inside Story, our new Awards programme we  have just launched – enter your ‘winning entry here’.

We’ve added more functions and therefore you should be able to access and share even more useful information on the site. What will make it really successful are contributions and information from professionals like you.

We love to share your news and comment pieces with our members and the wider IC community. So if you’d like to be a contributor please do drop us a line on: ciprinside@gmail.com There are also places you can upload case studies and reports, access webinars, add yourself as a freelancer or find a freelancer, and much more.

We plan to add some more functions in the coming weeks and months as well. And if there’s something you think we should have on the site that isn’t there please tell us and we’ll try to work it into the site.

We will redirect this site to the new one very soon, and the new site will take its place for all our communications.


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We’re really pleased to announce our two more gurus who will be joining us and Jane Edbrooke from Nuffield Health, and will share their experience and knowledge at Ask the Guru, Mission Impossible: engaging a remote workforce on Tuesday 18th September, after work, in a bar, in London.

And they are:

Richard Howat, Internal Communications Business Partner, Network Rail.

Richard Howat is an ex-editor in the dead trees press, he was recruited to help centralise corporate communications for the company’s 36000 people who work in hundreds of locations across Britain; experience which came in handy when he was then involved in decentralising and devolving communications some years later.

His only pretension to gurudom is that he has made most of the mistakes out there – and will openly admit to at least some.

Richard also really enjoys the challenges of pithy plain talking frontline comms – and in encouraging leaders to find the voice and skills to talk authentically with their people.

Richard Jordan, Director, Barclays Investment Bank

To connect with a globally dispersed workforce Richard Jordan uses everything from a fully personalised intranet through which he can deliver automatically segmented messaging, to global videoconference facilities. Richard will talk about the decisions he’s made in developing that infrastructure and the strategy that underpins those decisions, including where they didn’t work out and what he’s doing next. Richard will also talk about managing social media in one of the most regulated industries in the world.

So come along to The Well, at Clerkenwell, London from 6.30pm on Tuesday 18th September to meet all three of our Gurus and get some great insights into reaching your audiences, no matter where they are.

Book your place today to learn from the Gurus

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With ever changing workplaces and global teams, truly engaging your workforce when they are in different offices, different sites and different countries can be a real challenge. Add different languages and cultures to the mix and getting your message heard, understood and acted upon is a real achievement.

Our next Ask the Guru event on Tuesday 18th September 6.30pm til 8.30pm gives you the opportunity to hear from three internal communicators who face this challenge on a daily basis. Come along to discover creative ways to engage a remote workforce and ask specific questions about the challenges you face.

Our three gurus are all internal communication specialists who work in-house. Each has a unique experience engaging their remote workforce.

The first of our Gurus is Jane Edbrooke, Internal Communications Manager, at Nuffield Health who has worked in communications for seven years, first in public affairs and community engagement in local government and then in stakeholder management, transition and digital communications for NHS London. Jane specialises in the creation of internal and external digital channels, and is excited about the blurred lines between internal and external communications as social media grows.  She sees staff as any organisation’s biggest asset in terms of brand and reputation.

Our other two Gurus for September’s event will take the limelight in our next article coming soon.

Book your place to find out more and put your questions to the Gurus on Tuesday 18th September, The Well, Clerkenwell, London

And if you are working on your CPD attending this event gives you 5 points

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Ask the Guru was a great success on Tuesday 29th May. The attendees put the gurus through their paces and the outcome was a lively discussion and some great advice for everyone.  Here are a few of the highlights from the evening:

  • The benefit of a ‘social’ work place is that you can see the grapevine, feed it information and interact with it.
  • Social media is a real opportunity to build trust in the organisation, harness it and allow it to grow.
  • Social media is the evolution of internal communications, taking internal communications to the next level with real interaction and engagement. It’s not the death of internal communications.
  • We all need to understand the times we live and work in. Dishing out mars bars and token rewards doesn’t work in downtimes, you need to work with employees and fully engage them to work through the tough times together.
  • Create leaders not just managers – people who can innovate, inspire and engage with employees and communicate. Give managers the skills to be leaders and enhance their natural abilities.
  • Take leaders back to the floor with inverted mentoring to give them a better understanding the shop floor. Let them see for themselves what the challenges are and what opportunities for change there may be, and let employees see the leaders involved and listening.
  • Leaders are the latest hot topic and replace the intranet as a key subject. We need to harness leadership skills and help leaders develop, communicate and engage.

Anything we missed? Add your comments and feedback here.

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Watching the Prime Minister’s ‘did he/didn’t he?’ bullying saga this week has been, in some respects,  almost farcical (Peter Mandelson and John Prescott gesticulating and forcefully asserting that Gordon is not a bully) and, on another respect a stark reminder of the impact stress has on organisations and individuals.    

Whether Gordon is a bully or not is a red herring.  Publicly, he is eminently calm and reasonable; publicly Peter and John’s seem defensive and aggressive.  Neither matters because external events, however hectic or unpleasant, don’t determine stress.  What determines stress is how we as individuals react. How we internalise external stimuli. 

Stress has been defined as “a demand made upon the adaptive capacities of the mind and body”.  If these capacities can handle the demand and enjoy the stimulation involved then the stress is welcome and helpful.  Seemingly Peter and John can.  But what if they can’t and find the demand debilitating? 

As internal communicators understanding the physiological responses to pressure and stress must be fundamental to implementing and delivering successful change in organisations.  Bullying is just one of the factors that goes on, often undetected or unrecognised in organisations for exactly the reason that everyone reacts differently and therefore not everyone will exhibit symptoms of stress.  Some may even be surprised by the allegation that someone is a bully.  Frequent clashes with bosses;  overwork and time pressures;  long or unsociable hours are common causes.  And, it’s not hard to imagine that working with a Prime Minister under extreme to extricate UK plc from the economic recession and facing a General Election in a matter of months that the work environment is fraught. 

Effective leaders, and therefore effective communicators, should be aware that certain situations, especially over extended periods will have detrimental effects on proportions of staff which can only lead to dysfunctional people, teams and even businesses. 

The impact is insidious rather than blatantly obvious.  After all, staff being too busy to take time off, bringing home work and being unable to refuse more work happens – often it goes with the territory.  But usually it comes to a natural end and there are periods of comparatively less pressure.  When it doesn’t the symptoms will show as staff complaining about the quality of others work; being unable to cope with the pressure of work or work efficiently – or even using social media sites to let off steam about their organisation.  If it continues, extreme exhaustion and reduced commitment to work become evident until eventually, at the point where HR become involved, absenteeism is rampant.  The reality of the toxic situation is no longer a perception it’s a reality. And, of course, increased sickness levels put additional pressure on those who have been coping .

This economic situation with its ubiquitous re-structures and change programmes has already enabled internal communicators to raise their profile but it also gives us an irresistible opportunity to wrestle the staff engagement agenda, once and for all, from HR.  We have key roles when it comes to the staff surveys by improving channels and communication courses. Yet we leave softer leadership skills, of which communication is one facet, and coaching another, to our HR colleagues, who for the most part, are still adhering to the signs of stress approach: unless you see the effects of stress – absenteeism – there isn’t a problem.   Coaching and developing leaders is ours for the taking and it’ a key part of staff engagement.   Who’s up for it?

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Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the corporate-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
HR, Comms and Brand:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
o’er the land.

The important function there ye fill,
Taking a’ the flack withoot the frill,
Your insights are a bitter pill
In time o’ need,
While thro’ your chores your artful skill
Is seldom heed.

The CEO when in full flight,
Will kick yer arse wi’ ready sleight,
Thinking yer just fu’ o’ shite,
Like ony function;
But soon he sees with great hindsight,
Yer fu’ o’ gumption!

Then, for EBITDA and ROCI
they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-calculated KPIs,
Are met with glee;
Then auld fatcats, maist like to skive,
will get their fee.

Is there a CEO owre his COO
Or CFO that wad staw a sow,
Or HRD wad mak her spew
Wi’ perfect dole,
Look down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a role?

Poor devil! see him with his Board,
with debts that they can ill afford
now see how they could’ve scored
If they’d taen thy advice!
Instead yer wisdom was ignored,
O how unwise!

But mark the company, professionally led,
inspiring leaders at their head,
hard times disnae fill them wi dread,
they’ll buck the trends;
their folks to them will still be wed
when recession ends.

Ye Pow’rs wha lead the rank ‘n’ file,
And try sae hard to make them smile,
Yer folk want nae mair corporate bile
or reasons to rejoice;
But, if ye wish their extra mile,
Gie them a voice!

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