The IC profession has reshaped itself in response to business changes, new technology and social forces. What’s clear is that digital experiences will become VITAL within internal communications. Digital will shape how companies talk both to and with employees, and digital will shape how work happens.
While IC has traditionally been focused on professional outputs (corporate products such as town hall meetings, intranet news sections and employee newsletters), going forward, IC must be willing to become the information and collaboration strategists.
The workplace has changed and so has human communication. IC, being at the intersection of both, must change as well. In a recently released DWG briefing paper, “The changing role of Internal Communications”, I explore these changes and what they mean for IC.
This paper looks deeper into where IC is being asked to ante up and provide new competencies, such as:
- Designing digital experiences with openness, personality, personalization and transparency. Online interactions with employees can collectively support (or undermine) the emotional connection an employee has with the organization. Being human, consistent, genuine, “social” and reachable are key. Ultimately, people-, journey- and emotion-centric will become core objectives for IC in the future.
- Building forums that enable the employee voice and then learning how to harvest the value. We’ve just scraped the surface of learning how to do this and what our role should be. Measurement and new methods of data and sentiment collection will be a part of this.
- Providing leadership advice on how to approach, steer and manage sensitive or complicated business situations, especially those involving employees and digital situations. In the future, leaders will increasingly turn to IC for digital advice: such as what internal digital tools to consider, how these should be introduced and the vision for the digital workplace.
- Implementing and continuously adapting the right mix of employee channels. DWG goes into this more in the “Digital channel matrix: Creating employee-focused internal communications” report referenced below.
- Learning how people in the organization work and helping them to understand and improve how information, decisions and assets flow through their specific work streams. Today, too many ICs would say “No, that’s not my job”. IC, as we currently know it, generally doesn’t want to get too close to everyday business operations. This is a very big opportunity that too many ICs are passing up.
We’d love to hear about your experience as an IC and what you see in our future.
Related research and resources
Digital Channel Matrix: Creating employee-focused internal communications
Measuring Internal Communications:Targeted metrics that demonstrate impact
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