If you were to ask primary aged children, what they want to be when they grow up and why, they will say something like, ‘I want to be a vet so I can save animals’ or ‘I want to be a doctor so I can help heal people’.
As a child I wanted to be a vet or a designer, I successfully achieved heavy-weight designer status for many years, not because I was very good at what I did, but I also had a genuine and core passion for ensuring the client was happy.
Both my business and I thrived on the happiness of clients and it spurred me along to turn that passion to a much broader remit and there began my career as a ‘communications professional’.
I was asked the question, ‘What are the traits of a great Internal Communications Professional?’ and in my view, one of the essential traits is a genuine passion for the role and all the opportunities it brings. A passion that drives your every decision and action.
I would also say at this point, that this trait is applicable for any career choice. To be in a career that matches your core passion is a very nice place to be in life.
We all know that Internal Comms is a very misunderstood area of business, we are often seen and used as a messaging service and many fail to see how we fit into the bigger picture.
We are key business change agents and are crucial for the successful management of the company and its employees, who are the profit generators of any company. If employees are not well-informed and listened to they are not happy and their work output ratio reduces.
Ever been in a job that you hate? It is quite soul-destroying. Being happy and passionate about your job, seeing how you fit into the big picture is essential for each employee and the company’s success.
Great passion makes the impossible happen.
Is it possible to love more than one person? Lol, well I know it’s not quite the same but in the world of Internal Comms, the ability to ‘love’ both the senior management and employees equally, is a must.
The senior stakeholder relationship
The ability to initiate and build relationships with stakeholders at multiple levels across the business is key for building trust and confidence in your ability to engage and inspire employees. As with any relationship, there needs to be frequent two-way communication, so meeting with senior stakeholders often and really listening to their core objectives, before developing a strategy is essential.
The employee relationship
Listen to employees, provide them with the ability to share their thoughts, ideas and preferences. Building a proactive communications champion network (your eyes and ears on the ground) across the business will make for a happier workforce.
Building relationships will help you to understand your audience and their quirks and preferences. Each key change or project will require a different approach and strategy.
Internal Comms is never ‘one-size fits all’.
Knowing the Internal Comms process from top to bottom is essential to deliver a creative solution that will satisfy the needs of stakeholders at all levels. We are not a mere message service, and should not be sitting there waiting to be asked to ‘send something out’.
A strategic thinker who has the passion for Internal Comms will be ahead of the curve when it comes to new developments in the company, developments of top resources and new channels available such as the ever-growing trend for ESNs in the workplace.
Don’t be ‘nuclear reactive’ … be ‘globally proactive’
Translate and Transmit
The ability to translate a complex corporate strategy into a clear and concise message (and often into different messages to suit the various audiences) and transmit through the correct suite of channels at the right time, is one of the most important traits of a successful internal communicator.
Don’t get lost in translation or you might just… ‘hit the nail on the head‘ :-O
Thanks for reading and if you would like to share other traits that are essential for all ‘internal communicators’? Please share them below.