So how did 2018 work out for you? Did you smash all your goals? Did you get that tricky project completed – and on time, no less? Have you grown as an internal communicator?
If you did, congratulations! But this article isn’t for you.
It’s for the other 95% of us who didn’t quite manage a clean sweep last year. We know there are improvements we could make, or things we could do differently, which would help us achieve more.
So in that spirit, here are five internal communications new year resolutions to help inspire a fantastic 2019.
1. Look for opportunities to communicate
You’re a talented, highly-organized, professional internal comms specialist, so you already have a well-planned communication calendar listing the year’s major occasions and events.
But therein lies an easy trap to fall into. By focusing only on these events you’re missing a wealth of opportunities to get employees engaged, inspired and fired up.
You needn’t look far. Monthly business highlights, notable successes by a team or individual, community initiatives, organizational milestones and looking ahead are all rich veins to mine.
Resolution: Keep your eyes open and ears to the ground for any opportunities to share positive or uplifting news with staff.
2. Make everyone an advocate
Depending on the size of the organization, your internal communications team could be a group of people, yourself and a colleague, or just you. But in reality, the number of internal communicators in your organization is so many more.
Every employee has an opinion on what goes on at work, discusses it with colleagues and likely posts about it on social media. That makes everyone an internal communicator – whether we like it or not!
But don’t erase it – embrace it. Solicit feedback from staff more regularly, encourage them to submit their great ideas and get them involved with special activities.
Resolution: Make every staff member a positive internal communications advocate by encouraging feedback and participation.
3. Take the road less-travelled
It’s always tempting to follow the tried-and-true. While it’s a new year, many of the issues and responsibilities will be the same as last year. So your first thought may be to simply dust off what was used before.
But before you do, stop and take a second. Is the tried-and-true actually tired-and-through? Did what you used before actually achieve what you wanted? Were the results all you hoped? Are there better ways of doing it – ways that are more efficient or more effective?
Look for different ways of doing things, including the internal communications tools you use. Moving away from emails to contemporary tools enhances visual appeal and message cut-through. New tactical initiatives make things fresh and keep staff interested.
Resolution: Break away from what’s always done by using more modern communication tools to inject more dynamism and impact into your comms.
4. Make more meaningful measurement
If the internal communications hero has an Achilles heel, it’s measurement of results. So much effort goes into planning engaging staff events and crafting enticing messages, but considerably less into tracking and reporting on performance.
It’s understandable – longer-term campaigns can be difficult to track, not all communication platforms have robust reporting built-in, and (let’s be honest) it’s not the sexiest part of the job is it?
But despite this, it is something we need to improve at – both to make us better at our jobs and to prove just how much value we add to senior management. Because they’ve told us that’s what they want to see.
Build tracking and post-campaign reporting into your communications plan. Use resources like an online ROI calculator to help with channel selection. Circulate results to stakeholders as soon as you can after a campaign has finished.
Resolution: Make measurement a fundamental part of all internal comms planning activities.
5. Celebrate diversity
The internet and the breaking down of national boundaries have made the workplace more diverse than at any other time in history. We’re increasingly rubbing shoulders with colleagues born in other countries or liaising with vendors and customers located on foreign shores. Multinational organizations will have offices across the world.
This difference of cultures, language and attitudes presents a challenge for internal communicators – but also an opportunity. This tremendous richness offers a multitude of ways to celebrate different cultures and foster team-building.
Include cultural celebrations into your communications calendar and involve local people more when planning local activities. It adds authenticity and promotes inclusiveness.
Resolution: Consider how ethnic and cultural diversity can add to your rich palate of internal communications activities this year.
Fasten your safety belts, tighten your laces, strap on your gauntlets – the new year has already begun! So, let’s all resolve to be even more brilliant this year, and finish 2019 with our heads held high.