How do we positively establish Internal Comms as the absolute cornerstone of any company?
People often ask me “So what exactly do you do in internal Comms?“
To which I usually respond with something along the lines of…
“We send out updates to employees” or “We help the business communicate to its employees and vice versa”
But neither of those responses sound very glamourous or inspirational do they! 😕
The last time I responding like this I made a pact with myself to make sure next time I was asked I would make sure my response ‘Wow’d the crowd’ so to speak.
I began making a list of all the great things the IC are involved in and the list is extensive in detail. From employee engagement to strategy and corporate events to recognition awards.
How do craft a great response when the remit of Internal communications is so vast?
This thought played around in my head for some time and then I stumbled across ‘Sapiens’ by Yuval Noah Harari, an audio book, that I chanced my monthly Audible credit on.
I listen to books on to way to and from work which is a much better use of my time than squealing away to my lastest favourite tune. (Not quite as fun but hey, I still manage to do this on the weekends.)
In this book, Yuval explains how a limited liability company such as Peugeot is a ‘legal fiction‘ – Let me explain..
- If all Peugeot’s employees where to vanish, Peugeot would still exist!
- If the Peugeot offices were gone, the company would still exist!
- If Peugeot stopped making cars and decided to make planes instead, they would still exist!
So what is Peugeot? (or any other limited company)
The brand?… No they could rebrand.
Yoval goes on to explain, “Peugeot is an intersubjective” (bear with me here)
“Existing between conscious minds; shared by more than one conscious mind.”
Peugeot exists in the minds of many people, its employees, its customers, the public and the lawyers who agreed to make Peugeot a legal assumption. It is not a physical entity that you can ‘touch’ but a belief by many, that it exists legally.
The company exists within the ‘communication network‘ which links the minds of these many individuals.
Ok here is where we pull this together.
The internal communication function is the influencer of minds. We are responsible for ensuring the company’s employees have a positive belief and opinion of the company they work for.
Positive employees who have a strong belief in the company are the company’s primary advocates, and their positive mindset will influence the minds of the company’s clients, suppliers and customers. Which increases the breadth and depth of that wider belief that a great and strong company exists – ‘inter-subjectivity‘
So what do Internal Communications do?
In short – “We are inter-subjectivity magicians.”
We strengthen the collective belief and agreement about the company, we influence the collective mind-set, and the more people we positively influence, the more we strengthen the entity (the company).
If employees stop believing in the company this in-turn impacts the opinions of clients and slowly but surely the entity dissipates.
BUT…As with all great magicians we have many more tricks and wonders up our communication sleeves… our remit is endless.
So to all my fellow IC professionals, next time we are asked what we do, let’s not down-play our industry.
We are powerful influencers and capable of taking any company to the next level and beyond.