Last week, Manchester (UK) was awash with Internal Communications professionals as the doors of the Internal Communications Conference – Real Impact, Real Results – opened. The event brought together 22 industry leaders and internal communications innovators, sharing their insights on how some of the UKs biggest brands create ‘real impact with real results’ within their respective organisations.
It’s a unique one-day event, and was attended by 150 fellow internal communications professionals, eager to soak up and share expert knowledge in areas, such as:
- Social collaboration in practice
- Driving change
- Empowering leaders
- Strategic influence
- Measuring impact and ROI
- Brand vision and values
- New technologies & the digital workplace
- The future of internal communications
Using the intranet as an internal communications tool to drive collaboration and engagement was a key theme of the conference, with three clear messages being discussed amongst the audience.
1) If you fail to prepare then be prepared to fail
In order to achieve you’re your objectives, you need to put the time and effort into creating a thorough strategy to launch your intranet. If you try to cut corners or deliver a half populated intranet, the chances of success diminish drastically.
2) Lead by example
Organisations noticed a considerably higher adoption rate amongst employees when their intranet was seen to be used by the business leaders. This may not always be easy, so encourage the CEO to deliver a bi-weekly / monthly blog to all employees and post it on the homepage for all to see. A direct message also had the desired effect of creating a closer connection from the top-down and made employees feel more appreciated in the company.
3) Censorship could be standing in your way
The best advice when it came to getting the most out of your intranet was around censorship, or to be more precise, encouraging less of it. When managers hear ‘social working environment’ it tends to carry a negative connotation that it makes employees less productive.
However, does increased social activity decrease productivity? The message from industry leaders was a resounding ‘no.’ We should all want an environment where employees can instantly share content and ideas, provide status updates on projects and collaborate with each other on a single platform, rather than wasting valuable time jumping from one program to the next looking for notes, emails and things from the past. The result is a collaborative environment throughout the business with social engagement and increased productivity by up to 25%!
Any hesitation to adopt a social intranet won’t stop employees using the many social tools available to them externally. Your employees are already using social platforms to make their job easier, such as LinkedIn, Dropbox, Google+ or Skype, so why not just keep control of company conversations by keeping them on your own, monitored social network.
All in all, it was a great conference filled with great speakers and content. I look forward to seeing you all there in 2017!