With the world of work changing rapidly and expectations from the increasingly young workforce rising, internal communication in 2015 and beyond will never be the same. In this post I share perspectives that internal communicators must consider to stay relevant, add value and continue making an impact.
Evolving asks of the internal communicator: With employees seeking information in formats of their choice (channels, on demand, BYOD among others) there is a need for the communicator to be adept with newer technologies, craft personalized content and make information accessible in ways that matter. The internal communicator isn’t anymore the owner and gatekeeper of information but is expected to tap the knowledge and talent of employees to create engaging communication. Crowdsourcing of internal communication context, content and conversations will see an increase in the coming years.
Curator of corporate conscience: The growing discontent among stakeholders about how corporations are run will turn into an opportunity for internal communicators to step up and help the brand be counted. Apart from owning responsibilities for the last mile on internal corporate reputation and managing employee relations the internal communicator will be expected to leverage ‘moments of truth’ to the organization’s advantage.
Foil for tapping corporate activism: The internal communicator’s role is transforming from becoming an organizational connector to be a lead collaborator and talent spotter. Today, more and more employees create content and share stories about their organizations, good or bad. Every employee is capable of shaping a company’s reputation and the internal communicator is well placed to steer opinions in ways that matter. By actively engaging employees in conversations and honing their passion and interests the internal communicator can build an army of active advocates.
Engaging every team counts: The internal communicator will need to understand and influence the ‘team’ or the smallest unit within their organization. As organizations evolve to be an amalgamation of people with skill-sets and diverse capabilities the shift is taking place from organizational commitment to occupational commitment. The internal communicator is expected to get better with coaching teams to succeed and to reframe content that will make these units more effective.
Internal communicators as personal branding experts: With the youngest members in the workforce and the growing set of millennials preferring personalization and demonstrating individualism, personal branding will be an essential capability for internal communicators. Employees will expect to work with a ‘minimum viable brand’ which they can DIY and reinvent. Internal communicators will need to able to organize employees into a movement with individual brands serving the organization’s larger goals.
To sum up, exciting times are ahead for the internal communicator as the role evolves and demands different skills and capabilities within the organization. Can the internal communicator adapt to meet these new expectations? What do you think?
Here’s wishing you a successful New Year!