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​Change: Love It, Hate It, We’ve All Got to Face It

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​Change: Love It, Hate It, We’ve All Got to Face It

On Tuesday morning, we hosted our Quarterly Internal Communications Advisory Board at the wonderful TOG FORA Offices at The Shard for Heads of Internal Comms and Employee Engagement. Hosted by our CEO Andrew Harvey, we welcomed a number of IC professionals from various sectors to discuss their thoughts and experiences of communicating and engaging the workforce during times of change.

Is change easier to communicate now than ever before?

With channels and capabilities of Internal Communications teams having increased, Andrew posed the idea that communicating change is perhaps easier now than in the past. In the 21st century, our employees are living in an instantaneous messaging world, an ‘infodemic’, as one participant coined it. There is a societal expectation that we are all contactable 24/7 and with such fast pace, our attention spans have decreased considerably. Given this, the general consensus seemed to highlight the cruciality of the ‘advisory’ role played by IC professionals, i.e., supporting business leaders to ensure any messaging has a clear focus and end goal, which may be provoking an action or emotion amongst the workforce. Yes, it’s great that many organisations have access to multiple channels and yes, it’s great to produce brilliant content and to know that it’s being read… but ultimately, we need employees to receive the information they need, to feel cared about and to, at the end of the day, ‘recommend [the workplace] to a friend’.

Is it change? Or is it ‘life’?

It goes without saying that Covid-19 was the calling for internal comms functions across the professional sphere – implementing working from home changes overnight, establishing trusted relationships with senior leaders in record time, and making a respected mark ‘at the table’ on behalf of the comms industry. Despite this, some comments suggested that 3 years later, IC professionals are now feeling a little pushback when it comes to maintaining their seat at the table. The discussion turned into an interesting debate about ‘change’ within internal comms and questioning if‘change’ is actually just a part of modern life?’ Otherwise said,is ‘change’ just an aspect of every modern internal comms role?

Trickle-down change;

Hearing the experiences of change from senior IC leaders was really eye opening from my perspective, especially understanding how the perceived value of Internal Comms at the ‘top table’ seems to have fluctuated in some organisations post-pandemic. Many mentioned how IC became the ‘unsung hero’ overnight during Covid-19 – which was a period of immense change and reactive crisis for us all: but, on the reverse, pre-planned and considered changes, are all-too-often trickled down to the bulk of the workforce with delay. This consequently can lead to a disconnect between Senior Leadership Teams and employees. Whilst organisations may always be changing in some way or another, it’s key that the entirety of the workforce feel listened to and respected, to avoid a sense of separation and hierarchy.

 

Until next time!

VMA GROUP continues to be a trusted supplier to a range of clients when recruiting for specialist positions in Communications, Marketing, Digital, and Change, on both a permanent and interim basis. If you are looking for any support as we move into 2024, we would be really pleased to speak!

In the meantime, wishing you a restful end to the year.

Written by: Anna Newsome, Recruitment Consultant, Internal Communications

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VMA GROUP is a leading international interim, contract, temporary and permanent recruitment and executive search specialist. We are specifically focused on providing support to the communications, marketing, digital and change communities.

Our specialist practice areas cover: communications, corporate communications, internal communications, change communications, PR, media relations, financial communications, CSR, public affairs, investor relations, marketing, brand, digital marketing and agency services.

We have a reputation for providing expert consultancy services and advice, supported by in-depth knowledge of the professions we recruit for. Our thought leadership and benchmarking studies have become go-to resources for the communications, marketing, digital and change industries, supporting planning and decision-making for organisations of all shapes and sizes.

In the UK, VMA GROUP has offices in London, Bristol and Manchester and in Europe, VMA GROUP has offices in Amsterdam and Brussels, but we work with organisations and individuals on a global basis.

VMA GROUP is committed to equal opportunities and is an Inclusive+ Recruiter.