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Internal Corporate Communications: Why?

2 Apr

(I’m experimentally expanding the content on this blog to include my communications work. If you like it or hate it, please leave feedback! This was originally posted on my corporate intranet.)

Most of us have been communicating meaningfully since we were small  children. Why would anyone pay me for internal communication?

I’ll answer that with a question: Why do we pay accountants, when most of us can read rules and do basic math?

The answer is straightforward: because it’s good for business.

  • When employees know their work aligns to mission, they put in 31% more discretionary effort.
  • When communications around organizational change demonstrate information sharing and integrity, employees put in 29% more effort
  • When new hires believe their job is valued by the organization, they put in 22% more effort – and are less likely to leave the company. (From “Change Management: Case for Action and Manager’s Toolkit” from Corporate Leadership Council 2004 Employee Engagement Framework and Survey

The bottom line: When employees are eager to try harder – without “please-you-have-to-work-this-weekend” begs from management – companies show higher returns to shareholders: 47% higher over five years. (From 2007/2008  Communication ROI Study, Watson Wyatt.)

To capitalize on these effects, internal communications efforts start by focusing on three strategies:

  1. Connect employee work to clear mission, vision and strategy
  2. Support organizational change with clear and timely information, and multidirectional communications (up, down, and across the new hierarchy)
  3. Show importance of new employees roles to leadership, peers, managers

Over the next four posts in this series, I’ll outline how the first step I took was to create an infrastructure, then dive deep into executing each of the three strategies.


What do you sing, when the ipod/zune/radio doesn’t work?

7 Nov

My new novel is set in the post-apocalyptic PNW. For it not to be future fantasy, the poxy-lips needs to happen within the next 5 years or so. The question is, what songs will people sing once their ipods/zunes/radios/etc no longer work? There certainly are musicians around, but the infrastructure to keep the electric guitars/keyboards/etc is gone. So we’re back to human voices, in most cases, with some accompaniment when so lucky as to actually be in the physical presence of a musician.

So what popular songs (say, from the past 30 years) would you remember and sing? Suggestions so far: 
– Baby Got Back, Sir Mixalot
– Rick Astley’s earworm
– Brown Eyed Girl, Rolling Stones
– Blister in the Sun, Violent Femmes

I need more. Please help?