Take the 2011 Internal Communications India Survey Now and Get a Free High-Level Summary Report!


Take the 2011 India Internal Communications Survey Now!
 
This Survey is the first ever study in India among practitioners to gauge the value and impact of internal communications in the region. This survey is meant to be completed by professionals based in India who work or have worked for organizations either in the capacity of a leader or an individual contributor in the internal communications function.Take the survey now! It takes just 10 minutes of your time. Survey closes October 28, 2011.

Why should you take the survey?

Get the opportunity to shape the future of the function in India
Have your voice heard
Define the expectations of the internal communications function
Help guide how leaders and communicators will steer decisions and evolve interventions
Be the first to receive an executive summary of the results. Please note: ONLY those who complete the survey by filling in all fields are eligible for this summary report.
Take tangible measures to make an impact in your role, company and industry
Be also among the first to get an invite for the survey findings discussion

Who is running this survey?

This is an independent survey conducted by me.

 
My background:
Aniisu is based in Bangalore, India and has over twelve years of experience in the evolving internal communication arena, online media and corporate communications. He currently works as the India Internal Communication Lead for Sapient. Prior to his current role Aniisu worked for Saatchi & Saatchi, i-flex solutions and Accenture.He has won several employee communication awards and writes regularly for management and industry publications. Aniisu is passionate about engaging fellow communication practitioners through workshops and presentations. He is a visiting faculty at B-schools in the country and speaks on internal communications at various forums. He recently spoke at the 2011 World International Association of Business Communicators at San Diego, US on the Indian context in internal communications and social media. Aniisu is a core team member of the South India Chapter – International Association of Business Communicators.

He shares practical insights at his blog, India’s first internal communications forum – Intraskope (www.intraskope.wordpress.com) which he began in 2006. He can be contacted at intraskope@yahoo.com

 
Also register for the hands-on, full-day workshop Internal Communications 101- Essentials for Success at Bangalore on October 1, 2011. Book your seat today!
 

Struggling to Build Your Internal Communication Team’s Presence?


Internal communicators are experts and specialists who collaborate with leaders and human resources to help achieve a shared understanding of organizational goals, connect and recognize employees. However to be accepted as leaders the team is often called up to prove its worth and value. How you build your team’s presence is crucial for their success.

Here are some ways to ensure you can coach your team and build presence not just among stakeholders but across your organization.

List your team’s SLAs: To be effective with internal communication means to be able to set the right expectations on the role and impact. Very often you have a small team as compared to other support groups and therefore it is helpful to set clear service level agreements (SLAs) for all the work you offer. You will do your team a favor by explaining your team’s role at every opportunity you get.

Work with an agreed set of messages: Have an outreach presentation which articulates what the internal communication team stands for, supports in terms of work, lists stakeholders and showcases recent cases where you have made a tangible difference. Nothing beats the ability to delight your stakeholders that a thought through presentation.

Support your team’s growth: If you are a team leader you are in the best position to identify opportunities that your team needs for learning and development both internally and externally. You may get formal and informal feedback on your team which can be fed into creating a tangible development plan. Coach them on conducting events and workshops.

Be seen as a thought leader:  The more your team is seen as leading the way with thoughtful recommendations there is greater chances of it getting the right support. For example, there will be opportunities to share best practices in internal communication, discuss ways to plan communication better, create digital storytelling assets, improve writing standards, using social media effectively and craft suitable messages. These are obviously skills that many stakeholders will love to have.

Value-add over and beyond your role: I often encourage my team to go over and above their work and participate in not just internal forums but external sessions. There is no better way to expand perspective and broad horizons. Have them join local communication groups, team up with corporate social responsibility units or even contribute articles to publications.

Revisit your team structure: Revisit your team structure to check if there is enough cross-pollination and collaboration. Often teams work in silos only because their line of sight is limited. Get everyone on the same page either with periodic updates or calls. Have team members’ work on cross-departmental themes where better ideas are germinated. You may want to embed team members within business units for better exposure and understanding.

Periodic updates: Apart from the outreach presentation it helps to periodically report out on progress. I practice a monthly report rhythm for stakeholders that cover highlights of the previous month, the stakeholders impacted, metrics from communication interventions, feedback and a snapshot on what’s coming next. I also ensure to call out success stories, challenges, key people who contributed and the outcomes we are driving towards. It is useful to ask for feedback on the report so that you can continue improvising. One important feedback that I recently incorporated related to what the internal communication team does. The feedback came in that very few were aware of the offerings that internal communications had as a service.

External trends and outcomes: Share positive and negative sentiments on topics of relevance. For example, an attrition study that depicts how the region or a certain industry is faring. You can review and synthesize a Great Place to Work Survey report and provide directions.

Page on your intranet: Have a page on your internal network where stakeholders and employees get to know your team, the work you do, the policies, the process, the format and how to join hands with your team. You may have a project which needs audience participation. This is a great way to start.

Build case studies on great work: You can explain most of what you do through relevant and insightful case studies. Be it how you promoted a leadership visit, a change management intervention where you overcome mindsets or a crisis communication which reduced impact to the organization.

Recognize people who supported your team: It is probably the easiest but often very likely missed in an increasingly fast paced world – recognizing those who make your team excel. As a support function you will be working closely with the office departments to extend the reach and impact of your communication. The people behind the scenes are the one who need a ‘pat of their back’.

Communicating a common voice: Finally, does your team have a shared understanding of what you stand for and deliver? I am often surprised that internal communication leaders overlook this very important element of building team presence. Have an elevator speech that everyone on the team knows and can articulate well. It is also important that each member knows what the other is doing, either through knowledge sharing sessions or by reaching out during 1:1s.

Have other ideas to amplify your team’s presence? Share them here.

Register Now! Internal Communications 101 – Essentials For Success Workshop: October 1 | Bangalore


Presenting

 

A full-day, hands-on workshop:

 Internal Communications 101 – Essentials For Success 

On October 1, 2011 at Bangalore. Book your seat today!

Keen to understand trends in internal communications?  Unsure how to target your diverse audiences? Having trouble with choosing the right mix of channels and messages?  Unclear if your audiences understand your internal communications? Keen to justify your investment in communications?

Attend this hands-on workshop to learn more about addressing these challenges and be a success!

 Context 

Effective internal communication is critical to the success of any organization. As communicators it is important to learn from trends shaping the function, understand expectations from leaders and tap the potential of employees to deliver the best results at the workplace. Internal communicators are expected to be problem solvers, strategic thinkers and role models for the organization. Apart from listening intently, writing with skill, communicating responsibly and measuring impact in a variety of ways and settings they also need to demonstrate personal commitment to be effective communicators.

 This internal communications workshop focuses on how internal communicators can get better at planning, leading and building a function that is respected and delivering succinct messages. Through interactive exercises, case studies and best practices you will learn to optimize your resources, manage business situations and develop reusable templates which will continue to improve your effectiveness as communicators.

 Get a free evaluation of your internal communication collateral or plan at the workshop! Submit your entries to intraskope@yahoo.com by September 25, 2011.

 Top Reasons To Attend

  • You want to make a mark in this exciting profession and succeed as a professional
  • Boost your internal communications knowledge
  • Build networks 
  • You want your stakeholders to believe in the communication campaigns you design
  • You are determined to benchmark your internal communications
  • You want your internal communications function to be aligned with your business objectives
  • You want to learn about effective ways of making a difference
  • You want to add value to your communication plan

 Workshop Objectives:

  • Understand basics of internal communications from a practitioner’s perspective
  • Grasp important theories that can influence your internal communications
  • Understand the importance of internal communication at the workplace
  • Learn from best practices and add value to your internal communications
  • Recognize how different communication approaches can strengthen programs which you run and manage
  • Know what the future holds; trends that affect the future of internal communications

Agenda Overview

  • 9.00 – 9.30am         Registration
  • 9.30 – 9:45am         Overview of the program, expectations, ‘meet & greet’
  • 9.45 -10.15am       Context, Trends, Planning, Expectations Of The Internal  Communicator, Channels
  • 10.15 – 11.00am      Exercise on Integrated Internal Communication Planning
  • 11:00 -11.15am     Tea Break
  • 11.15 – 11.45am    Internal Communication Messaging and Storytelling
  • 11.45 -12.30pm     Exercise on Messaging
  • 12.30 – 1.15pm      Lunch
  • 1.15 – 1.45pm         ROI and Measurement
  • 1.45 – 2.30pm         Exercise on Measurement
  • 2.30 – 3.00pm        Managing Internal Crisis Communication, Leadership Communication
  • 3.00 – 3.45pm        Exercise on Internal Crisis Communication
  • 3.45 – 4.00pm        Tea Break
  • 4.00 – 4. 30pm       Q&A & Wrap-up, Feedback

 Workshop Particulars:

 Date:                              October 1, 2011 (Saturday)

Time:                            9:00am – 4.00pm with lunch and two coffee breaks

Venue:                         Radha Hometel, 136/137, EPIP Industrial Estate, Whitefield, Bangalore – 560066.

(Landmark: opposite Sap Labs office at Whitefield)

Seats:                           30 participants

Target Group:            Students, academicians, professionals with 0-7 years of experience. Also those who are pursuing a career in Internal Communication, Employee Relations, Public Affairs

 Methodology:          Presentations, hand-outs, case studies and exercises

 

Payment to be made in favor of Aniisu K Verghese, payable at Bangalore by September 28, 2011

 Contact: +91-9886623421 or e-mail intraskope@yahoo.com for confirmations.

 About the facilitator:

Aniisu Verghese has over twelve years of experience in the evolving internal communication arena, online media and corporate communications. He currently works as the India Internal Communication Lead for Sapient. Prior to his current role Aniisu worked for Saatchi & Saatchi, i-flex solutions and Accenture.

He has won several employee communication awards and writes regularly for management and industry publications. Aniisu is passionate about engaging fellow communication practitioners through workshops and presentations. He recently spoke at the 2011 World International Association of Business Communicators, San Diego, US on the Indian context in internal communications and social media. Aniisu is a core team member of the South India Chapter – International Association of Business Communicators.

He shares practical insights at his blog, India’s first internal communications forum – Intraskope which he began in 2006.

 Other planned workshops:

  1. Practical Internal Communications – Strategy through Execution and Measurement
  2. Crafting Effective Messages for your Communication
  3. Advanced Internal Communications
  4. Critical Communication For Managers

The Last Mile – Strengthen Your Internal Communication Loop


Recently I purchased a food processor from an electronic store and it all went well till the product malfunctioned after a day. The suction lever didn’t work and the motor began surfacing rust.

Assuming the product which belonged to a major Netherlands based consumer durable company would be replaced in a jiffy I raised a complaint on their published toll- free  number. Unfortunately, the after sales service didn’t show up despite many reminders. It took a whole lot of follow-ups to get the dealer to influence the after sales unit to replace the product.  What surprised me most is that an e-mail to the senior leadership listed on their website didn’t even evoke a response, leave alone an apology.

Floral Graph

Where am I getting to with this?

While most organizations hard sell their products the experience of the customer is marred by this last piece of the chain. Often, and in this case, the after sales service unit didn’t have the same passion for the product as the customer salesman. In fact, he didn’t even know how to fix the issue and had to call in a replacement technician.  All the hard work of building credibility and a great product (and no doubt the one I purchased is excellent) the lack of interest or a consistent approach with the customer touch points leads to a lot of angst and distrust.

This can be mirrored to how your internal communication (or your corporate communication for that matter) is perceived on the basis of your exchanges with stakeholders.

Here are some examples that come to my mind (you may have others) and these may resonate with how you see we missing the finer points while unfolding communication programs –

  1. You ran a survey to gauge your employees’ morale and then 6 months later you shoot out another. However you haven’t told them what you did with the results from the earlier survey and why you need their inputs again?
  2. You are expected to submit a report on a successful event you managed but fail to acknowledge key people who supported you along the way
  3. You managed a campaign flawlessly but missed out factoring budgets to recognize your best players
  4. You conducted a communication planning workshop and you didn’t get back to a query that one of the participants had asked you during the session
  5. You guided your leadership in starting a blog but haven’t still checked in if they needed support on mining new topics or theme to communicate

Recently a leader lamented that his office didn’t get enough visibility to the great work they were doing. When I probed further it seemed that they weren’t even reporting their progress consistently. It therefore didn’t surprise me to hear his concern.

Just like how a track and field relay team runs their strongest in the last leg your internal communication needs to finish well. The race isn’t over till you have breasted the tape and also found time to document your experiences in front of the cameras and in your team’s performance tracker. That way you know what to do next time you kick-off from the starting block.

Here are a few recommendations that I can share to ensure your last mile ends in a memorable finish.

Report out as soon as you are done: Often this is one bottleneck that most campaigns have. How should I report out? Whom should I keen informed? How much do they need to know? When is a good time? These need to be ironed out as part of your project plan much before you begin your campaign. In fact, it helps to have a template to plug and play. In my reports I address objectives, measures, outcomes and learning.

Be consistent: I got introduced to reporting and consistency by my supervisors at my former employers and owe them a lot for their insights. Ensure that your report is simple, direct and articulates the key aspects of your campaigns. Add measurement metrics to demonstrate change and success.

Keep notes along the way: As you progress with your communication document your personal learning. It helps to formulate your thoughts when you report out. For example, you may find causes that impact attention and reach. It is vital to keep your stakeholders informed so that pitfalls can be avoided.

Scan the environment:  I came across an interesting article in the Economic Times on early warning systems adopted by organizations in India to avoid employee attrition. Now, I heard this conversation in many interactions among stakeholders and therefore insights can influence better decision making.

Had similar ‘last mile’ experiences while working through your communication? Keen to hear what you did.