Why internal communicators should conduct a session in the employee orientation program

I just returned after a presentation at my 4th induction session on communications. Quite a good feeling! The session is part of the orientation program which new joinees must attend to enter the organization.  It makes for an opportune moment to sell the internal communications story for the organization. A captive, attentive audience – you will finally derive content and ideas from them. They are your best bet in the smooth flow of information internally.

My presentation has three parts – to gauge reception to messages, to identify key talent and build a rapport. I use internal videos to showcase campaigns and introduce key stakeholders. So far the response has been welcome.

These are my ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’ to the internal eco-system. Investing time and effort is critical.

Inducting internal communicators into the team

While I am aware of induction and orientation sessions conducted to induct employees into the organization, I would be keen to know if there are specific focussed inductions undertaken to get internal communicators up to speed with the role.

In my previous assignments, it was mainly ‘trial by fire’ to get into the ‘groove’! I dived into work from day one and imbibed the culture. Some organizations have a structured way of meeting senior leadership and key stakeholders – others leave it to chance or by the frequent meetings.

I am a firm believer that a structured induction process should be created for internal communicators to get a ‘feel’ of what it takes to success at creating, managing and selling communications. This can be the responsibility of the team leader or the senior leadership who helps the professional understand the ‘ways of the land’.

 I found some interesting thoughts on the web ( http://leapfrogcomms.blogspot.com/search/label/internal%20communication).

Does ‘incentivizing’ internal communications kill the campaign?

Have seen a spurt in recent times in getting employees to ‘register for a gift voucher’, ‘attend a training session and get a free t-shirt’ or ‘volunteer for a program and avail a discount at the cafeteria’! These programs and campaigns begin with a clear conscience but by the end of it you are left wondering if the employees participated because they wanted to or for the dangling ‘carrot’!

Quite like in external communication, getting the employee’s attention is top priority for each and every assignment – be it the CEO’s blog, the road safety awareness workshop or even the IT group newsletter. Internal communicators are driven by the hit rates, attendance and uptakes to step back and understand if employees are actually coming in for the right reason.

 Is this the case in other parts of the world? I wonder.

Making a dent with measurement metrics

It took me a while to convince event communicators to align their thinking around engagement and less on the tactical elements of events. Questions typically asked earlier were centered around ‘enjoyment’ and  ‘comments on program elements like tranpsort and entertainment’. After understanding the need for business justification, we now are able to get answers from employees on ‘engagement with business group’, ‘feel that the organization is committed to teaming’ among others.

Was wondering if feedback and measurement is structured around these lines globally? Does metrics measurement flow from how management looks at business?

Empower intranet owners and get out of the way!

Internal communicators often fall prey to taking ownership for chunks larger than what they can chew. I believe intranets are self-running animals – all they need is direction and empowerment. Feed the ideas, provide the focus and get out of the way. I can witness a revolution in one of the intranets which I manage. Employees are re-discovering the power of intranets and how they can run the show. Start with easy to manage applications like quizzes and trivia. Slowly, move the needle to larger projects like blogs and wikis when maturity sets in.