We aren’t working at home, we are living at work. Virtual presenteeism amongst remote working employees is on the rise driven by a paranoia to be seen to be always ‘at work’ and fuelled by the rise of employee surveillance technology. It’s stressful, and internal communicators have responded with a barrage of mental health and wellbeing communication, but should we have been focusing on creating remote-first organisational cultures instead?
Internal communication recruitment sometimes feels like the lawless ‘Wild West’ with no agreed or universal standards for what an internal communicator is, or does, what we should know and if we should be even qualified or accredited. No wonder some recruiters don’t know what ‘good’ looks like.
There have never been more ways to listen to employees. Industrialising the practice of listening to employee voice and feedback is now easy, but it is another thing entirely to properly operationalise it and act on it. Organisations can’t claim to be properly listening to employees until both of these things are in place. Until they are, internal communicators and the leadership teams we serve will remain tone deaf.
ggelf IC has had a reinvention and is now The IC Citizen. What The IC Citizen stands for isn’t a 'stupid idea'. It’s important for all of us that work in internal communication and who are serious about doing a good job and becoming better at what we do. A compass guides the way.
We stand on the threshold of Lockdown 2.0 in England. Ironically timed to begin on Guy Fawkes Day, it is a bonfire of the liberties as our lives become ever more restricted once again. In Lockdown 1.0, I learned a few coping strategies. Eternal optimists may wish to look away now.
The ‘lived experience’ of practicing internal communication is not the same for everyone who works in the industry and our individual circumstances are often very different. There has been a recent explosion in the number of internal communication podcasts where advice for practitioners, founded on the lived experience of others, is liberally shared. Should we be asking ourselves if this advice is universally applicable to all, and if for some of us it is more a case for ‘pod off’ rather than ‘pod on’?
When did you last inspire someone? Can’t remember, or are you just too modest to admit it? To inspire is to create the hope of a better future for internal communication, for the talent we spot and the profession as a whole. With that in mind we should all set our modesty aside and become active players in the inspiration game.
We need to develop a better internal communications ecosystem to support our profession. An ecosystem where there is a symbiosis, co-existence and more co-operation between all the actors in it, and a little less commercial competition, so we can properly harness the power of our collective.
The ever-present tyranny of the future has been intensified by the uncertainty created by the pandemic. Maybe the best thing any of us can do right now is to just take things one day at a time and to not try to think too far ahead.
In a week of significant coronavirus related UK government announcements, it feels like we are in this for the long haul now and there is a creeping permanence in our current remote working circumstances. Internal communicators should be heeding the ministerial mantra of ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ to move away from the crisis and change communications approach of recent months towards one of continuous improvement.