Recently, Dynamic Signal was honoured to host an outstanding group of professionals for a VIP Head of Communications roundtable event with the Business Transformation Network in London. The topic was “Internal Communications: Propaganda or News?” We don’t need to tell you why this is such a timely issue. And we broke down that larger theme into three subtopics:
- The rise of millennials
- The Communication landscape – top down or collaborative?
- Do executives even care?
Key themes from the rise of millennials
The rise of millennials, and how to communicate with them, has been a hot topic in recent year – and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. After all, millennials already are the largest segment of the workforce. Some of the main discussion points at this event centred around how technology is playing a big part in engaging different groups of employees, and how people consume information is very different. There was widespread agreement that as communicators, we face a big task in understanding how to engage with these groups in the manor that they prefer. The reality is millennials have a lot more power these days as they move into management positions. Companies must think about how to accommodate millennials.
Companies also need to re-educate employees on what exactly digital means. There’s always a risk that social media can generate some backlash. So, it’s always important to manage channels and educate employees on how to use social media channels. The key is to make sure that everyone is comfortable and confident on social media, and also understand and what is appropriate. Not only is it important to understand the age gap, but also cultural and international differences need to be taken into consideration.
Key themes from the Communication landscape – top down or collaborative?
What should be the primary communication strategy? How are companies managing this? What came out of this event was that there needs to be a healthy balance of both top down and collaborative.
Employees certainly need to hear from the top. Management provides strategic clarity of goals and direction. But it’s important to allow for peer-level communication that allows people to work together effectively.
But at the heart of both is good storytelling. Companies need the ability to tell the stories of people working for the company. Real stories are what drive employee engagement. Communicators at the event agreed that you need to think about what will make people react in a positive way.
Key themes from Do executives even care?
This theme meshed perfectly with the discussion about top down or collaborative communication. Everyone recognised that executive buy-in is crucial and that goes both ways. Smart leaders realise that communication matters to overall company success.
This key reason for this: trust. It’s crucial for every organisation. We live in a time where people are sceptical about brands as whole. It’s why senior leadership must care about communication in order to help combat this lack of trust. The best senior executives will recognise strong communication this is crucial to overcoming credibility issues.