The Institute of Internal Communications (IOIC) has launched its first ever survey, known as the Communication Index (IC Index 2023).
Whilst the report offers a wealth of actionable insights for organisations keen on enhancing their internal communication frameworks, we were interested to understand how this data could add value to Change Managers. In this blog we’ve summarised a treasure trove of insights on effective internal communication, a pivotal aspect of change management.
Let’s delve into the key takeaways that can reshape your approach:
1. Respect time constraints
With many employees dedicating less than 15 minutes a day to internal communications, brevity is key. Make every second count by focusing on clear, impactful, and accessible messaging.
Tip: Strip away the fluff. Prioritise information that employees need to know and present it in digestible bits.
2. Capitalise on team meetings
It’s evident that most UK workers prefer to receive communications during team meetings. This setting guarantees attention and can help in fostering dialogue and share understanding.
Tip: Integrate essential communication segments into regular team meetings. This ensures that even those who don’t access the intranet or newsletters regularly are still in the loop.
3. Rely on written word, but keep innovating
Over 50% of respondents prefer reading communications, emphasising the effectiveness of written information. However, don’t ignore other mediums entirely. Gen Z, soon to become a significant part of the workforce, may bring in evolving preferences.
Tip: While sticking to written information for broad communication, experiment with podcasts, animations, or films, especially in smaller organisations where they’re shown to be more effective.
4. Leadership communication is vital
Senior leader communications, particularly from CEOs, have a significant impact on employee engagement and belief in business strategy. While direct managers are common conduits of information, communications from higher reaches of leadership tend to carry more weight.
Tip: Increase visibility of CEOs and top leadership in communications. At the same time, empower line managers with the tools and training they need to effectively convey strategic messages.
5. Tailor your channel strategy
The survey highlights a contrast between ‘Traditionalists’ and ‘Non-conformists’. Traditionalists rely on, well, traditional channels to receive updates from their employer – things like emails and line manager 1-2-1s. Non-conformists use email, too, but they prefer external channels, such as Instagram and LinkedIn. Traditionalists lean towards emails and 1-2-1 interactions with their managers, while ‘Non-conformists’ display a preference for external channels like Twitter and LinkedIn.
Tip: Segment your audience and tailor your communication channels accordingly. Embrace a hybrid approach to cater to both groups. While emails remain dominant, explore newer channels for specific audience subsets.
We live in a fast-paced world. We work in fast-paced workplaces. For change managers, this means not just keeping up, but staying ahead. Adapting to audience preferences becomes paramount in such a landscape. However, amidst this adaptation, one constant remains vital: the delivery of a clear and impactful message.