IoIC Insight Seminar #ioicinsight17
The Value of the Employee Voice
As I got ready I contemplated on the event ahead. I always gain so much when attending IoIC events and wish I could get to more, so I was thrilled to be attending the ‘Insight’ seminar 2017.
I did what I expect most attendees do, a bit of LinkedIn research on the speakers. This year the following speakers shared some of the most valuable insight I’ve heard in a while.
Up first was…
Cathy Brown, director at Engage4Success
Cathy shared insight into the fast paced change that we are seeing in the world of ‘internal comms’.
Nugget 1 – A welcome confirmation that with the upcoming generation there is a shift from managers getting respect ‘just because they are managers’ to managers having to really earn the respect and trust of their teams. This is a great shift as it will encourage managers to self-evaluate more and that is a great attribute to have, at all levels.
Nugget 2 – ‘Organisational behaviour and culture is an aggregate of its employee’s behaviour and culture’ This was by far one of the best quotes of the day for me as it captures the pure essence of what internal communication professionals strive to achieve.
Nugget 3 – In order to achieve ‘2’ we must look at 4 engagement enablers
- Strategic narrative of the company’s Journey and how each employee fits into it.
- Engaging managers – who are able to focus their people and trust them to do the job. A manager who will stretch and coach people. (Dictators be gone)
- Employee Voice – should be seen as central to what is going on in the company and listened to, to improve the company
- Organisational Integrity – Clear values that the company uphold as a business, something employees look for in the company before they become real advocates of the company
Next up was…
Sam Grayston and Claire Jones – Nationwide Building Society
Who took us on a journey through the ‘BIG Conversation’, launched to radically transform the company and really strengthen values and employee buy-in.
Nugget 4 – Involve every single employee in the entire company and ask them what works well, what can be improved – and with 18,000 employees this was a magnificent achievement. The pretext was clear ‘Everyone can participate and everything can change’
Nugget 5 – Be prepared and fully resource the initiative to manual process every single piece of feedback and with 22,000 items of feedback, they had a mammoth task but true to their word, every piece was read and discussed. WOWSER – I’m seriously impressed.
Nugget 6 – Take those actions as a company, and they actually managed, over 5 day to get all 18,000 employees to a fully immersive day of sharing ‘what will change’ and fed back using actual verbatim quotes.
Nugget 7 – Don’t be afraid to go BIG but be fully prepared for the magnitude of it.
Next on the stage…
Paul Philips, Head of IC and Engagement at Time Inc UK.
Time Inc. are publishers of a wide variety of very high-end and well-known magazines and are faced with the challenge of going through the transition to digital… things can be difficult and it can be tough to get everyone aligned, especially when their employees all work for different publications.
Nugget 8 – A strategic narrative guide was developed that taught managers how to translate the core narrative and deliver it with a local slant to make it relevant for each.
Nugget 9 – Employees across the board, all crave that face to face interaction with their company. Nothing replaces the intimacy of ‘face to face’ and the incredibly positive impact this can have on employee loyalty. Employees have a voice and they need to be heard.
Last but not least…
Sheila Parry from The Blue Ballroom took the stand.
Sheila took us through the importance of and the incredible value of ‘the employee voice’. THE voice is where the heart of the company is and when tapped into is powerful enough to radically transform a company for the better regardless of size.
Nugget 10 – We must stop looking at employees as our audience!!!!! Absolutely. Employees ARE the company. Without the employees the company is just a ‘legal fiction’.
My absolute favourite phrase of the day was the following statement… ”Employees are pilots not passengers, surgeons not patients, players not supporters and performers NOT the audience.” – Sheila Parry.
To top it off, I met some great people and among others, I am very honoured and humbled to receive the…
‘Highly Commended Award for Best IC manager – corporate’
Huge congratulations to all those nominated, shortlisted and winners.
See you all at the next IoIC event !