Top 15 Post: Emma Avery

Organisational success depends on the quality of its daily conversations

The way we converse with the world sets the foundation for everything we do as individuals and as organisations. Unavoidably, the nuances of organisational interaction determine corporate culture and impact on the way in which an organisation is perceived (both by employees and beyond). These (internal and external) ‘conversations’ set the tone for productivity, engagement and ultimately, individual and organisational success.

It is without doubt that the business landscape is in constant flux. As the rate of change in regulation, technology and business goals exponentially increases, our organisations must be equipped with the skills and knowledge to proactively meet changing demands to continue existing for the benefit of our staff, our customers and our communities.

Effective communication strikes the balance between task and people and provides links between strategic objectives, daily operations and organisational purpose. A conscious effort to implement effective communication strategies enables organisations to foster a culture of community, inspire collective confidence and motivate innovation and positive change.

The Communications Awareness Program so far: Key successes

Our communications team aims to engage all staff in a network that embodies organisational values, promotes corporate culture and provides access to resources that continually enhance the achievement of The Greater’s strategic objectives. The Communications Awareness Program has initiated an increased awareness of the importance of a consistent communication strategy across the organisation.

In the programs initial phases, a focussed effort on the usability and reliability of the organisational intranet provided a platform from which all staff are able to access information and participate in collaboration. As a result of this we observed key successes across an improved consistency of communication and an increased participation of staff in collaborative communication in central location.

Consistency
In developing a formalised approach to communications, we continue to build a holistic approach to messages distributed across the organisation. Without limiting the methods or channels by which messages are shared, a structured approach to the formulation of the messages themselves continues to ensure the consistency of their quality and alignment to the values of our organisation.

Centrality
Continuous development of the organisational intranet as a centralised internal communications tool and information database has significantly improved the availability and reliability or organisational news and information.

Participation
With an increase in the visibility of organisational strategic objectives and activities (by means of the intranet), staff are able to actively participate in the development of our organisation on both operational and strategic levels.

What’s next?

Creating awareness is only the first step. Looking ahead, there are three key areas in which we are now able to initiate activities to produce substantial results with tangible measurements.

Information sharing

Building a general awareness around the contribution of effective communications to the achievement of strategic objectives has enhanced our ability to break down organisational silos. In facilitating the development of a common understanding of business areas and functions across the organisation, we are situated far more capably able to unite the organisation in purpose and values driven productivity.
After building a strong central platform for information sharing (our intranet), we are now able to continue breaking down silos to further improve the consistency of messaging and information sharing across the business. The Internal Communications team has started working with key business areas to open up communication lines to better manage change across the organisation.

CEO & Executive visibility

Australian research indicates that CEO and Executive visibility is directly linked to employee empowerment and engagement. The more employees ‘see’ or interact with senior management, the more they feel valued as active participants in the development of the organisation. We are currently proposing a communications plan across the Executive management team that includes blogging, video blogging and real time web based activity for staff to actively engage with our organisation’s leaders.

Staff skill development

The key components to the success of any initiative is effectively equipping staff with skills and empowering them with confidence to perform expected actions.  An important factor of the second phase of the Communications Awareness Program will comprise of identifying key learning opportunities for staff development and designing a multi-channelled approach to improving employees’ personal and professional communication skills.

Emma