‘Bringing the human back’ to improve employee engagement and motivation is one of the goals for internal comms next year, said the final guest of 2021 in our popular Sequel Presents: A Coffee With webinar series.
Rosie Mowatt, Head of Communications at telecommunications company Arqiva, and Sequel’s Nick Andrews discussed how IC professionals can help businesses succeed next year. Rosie said: “I think it’s about bringing the human back and reminding ourselves that people are at the heart of what we do. Building connections is so important, and for me that would be a good legacy at the end of next year.”
She hopes that by the end of 2022, Arqiva people will feel that they’re part of a community and understand that everything they do makes a huge difference to the organisation. Rosie’s team is introducing different ways of saying thanks and recognising people. They’re also concentrating on the Arqiva staff in the field (sometimes literally), including the people who were out reconnecting services after storm Arwen caused hundreds of faults in the Arqiva network.
Rosie said she’s a great advocate of having a go in IC – ‘test and learn.’ She said it’s now easier to get senior manager support for internal comms: “A lot of leadership teams now recognise the benefit of effective internal communication. It wasn’t just about posting messages – we absolutely kept our businesses going. If you position an idea in the right way it’s surprising how much support you get for ‘just go ahead and do it’.”
But, she said you must know when something isn’t working well, and then try something a bit different.
She’s also a fan of building up a network of external partners to help with specific aspects of IC, such as an intranet review and explore the advantages of Microsoft 365.
Recruitment and employee engagement in HR is key for Arqiva as the company grows into new areas. “Like many organisations, we’ve started to campaign in that space in a way we never did before, asking current colleagues to talk about why Arqiva is great place to work,” said Rosie. “We’ve been creating case studies and video ‘soundbites’ that colleagues can post on LinkedIn to support recruitment. We’re trying lots of different things and it’s having a big impact.”
She’s confident that the future for internal comms won’t be boring – and that 2022 will be a busy year! “We have such an exciting opportunity to shape the agenda, try new things, do things differently and have real impact; I’m very excited.”
IC is surviving and thriving, she added. “We have such an opportunity to make a real difference and to deliver tangible activity that is important to business. There’s a huge demand and we should encourage young people to consider this as a serious career, because it absolutely is.”