HR & Communications working in harmony
In a previous blog I referred to the frustration we had picked up on amongst HR professionals with regard to their relationship with the communications function. It does, of course, work both ways, as illustrated by some quotes from our Employee Experience research (not officially published yet but due out shortly).
“There is a strong streak in HR that likes to regulate and administrate. They like order and form filling and creating complexity.”
“The content that people care about comes out of HR, but HR don’t make it remotely interesting.”
However, our research did reveal some encouraging examples of a more positive and constructive relationship as this following quote demonstrates.
“If the Communications function takes firm leadership of the narrative, the communications calendar, and the way that channels are controlled, there’s an opportunity to lift potentially mundane content and make it far more engaging – and from the employees’ point of view, something that ladders up to a bigger story."
So everything from the launch of the employee survey to gender diversity, and from performance reviews to agile working, can be presented as a distinctive and connected part of the way we do things – and show how that helps us to deliver our corporate purpose.
That requires HR to move from a just-in-time, piecemeal way of working, to a planned, longer-term and co-owned approach. That can be painful, because it can mean giving up some control of go-to-market, communicating less frequently and not sitting in the driver’s seat from a creative point of view. But if you get it right, those sacrifices are worthwhile because programmes land more securely, more visibly, with more measurable impact on understanding and behaviour change. And if they’re all coherently linked to the purpose of the organisation, you drive engagement and advocacy in support of your reputation.”
We saw more evidence of this in consumer facing organisations where, sometimes, the leadership is more progressive and the culture move conducive to a more enlightened approach.
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