Australia’s Commsoscopy

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  • 1.AustraliasCommsoscopyAre we doing enough? An exploratoryexamination into the effectivenessof communicating the employmentdeal to Australians.April 2011COMMSOSCOPY 1

2. About the surveyContentsThis is Impacts second study of the internalcommunication landscape in Australia. This probingresearch was carried out by Australian Research Unitand commissioned by Impact Employee Communications, Under the microscope Findings4an Ogilvy PR Worldwide Company.The survey focused on senior leaderships perceptions Heart to heart: Is the EVP in ICU or recovery? Executive summary 5of internal communication, the Employee ValueProposition, and the social media and communication Open wide: This will make you better Culture and values7capabilities within Australian organisations. Phoneinterviews were conducted with 100 C-level executives Were here to help: Taking the pain away Communication support 8 excluding those solely with HR and/or communicationsresponsibility. It included executives from organisations On the improve: But help still needed Communication skills11with 100+ full time employees through to largeorganisations with 1000+ employees. 86% ofPrognosis positive: Getting better but not fully fit A strategic approach 14companies interviewed were Australian-owned.Going social: Some stay in the waiting room Opportunities to explore15Impact thanks all those who participated in this study.Conclusion17About Impact Employee Communications18References192 COMMSOSCOPY WWW.IMPACT.COM.AUCOMMSOSCOPY 3 3. Under the microscopeHeart to heart: Executive summaryOur consultation exposed eight key insights.Is the EVP in ICU or recovery?In 2009 we investigated the business value of investing time and resources into communicating effectively 1 The employment deal is being communicated but there are some big gaps in the way it is being done the main attributes still need more continuous to employees. From that research [The Inside Story: How Australian Organisations are Managing Employee communication and reinforcement by leadershipCommunication During the Downturn July 2009] we concluded organisations were getting smarter at utilisinginternal communication to enable achievement of business goals. In essence, the foundations were in place.2 HR support for leaders to demonstrate and communicate the benefits EVP: What is it?The relationship is changing of the organisation doesnt yet go far enough. More support forThis time weve taken our investigation further, to A global trend in the last 18 months has focused on the communicating the what and the how is neededunderstand what is happening to the Employee Valuerelationship between employer and employee whatsProposition (EVP) how well its being communicated, the employment deal, what can I expect as an employeehow HR enables leaders to demonstrate it, whatand whats important to the company? We are moving3Communicating business strategy and performance needs more attentionattributes attract employees to a company and whatkeeps them there.further away from economically rough times and theterrain has changed; both employees and employers arelooking for different relationships, different ways ofClosely related to the concept of employer branding,working and different results. The employment deal isEVP is used by HR & Talent Management to attract,changing so we question what this means for leaders,4Not enough is being done to upskill middle and front-lineengage and retain quality employees.HR and communicators. Managers in being effective communicatorsWatson Wyatt1 states, Companies that are highly Employee Value Proposition effective communicators have the courage to talk about Research suggests organisations using socialThe attributes and benefits of an organisation thatwhat employees want to hear, and they redefine the5media internally are perceived by employees ascreate the employment deal. The tangible and employment deal. Our research therefore looks at the having more effective communication of theirintangible things that link what you can expectrelationship between the employer, the employee, HR EVP than those that dont and whats expected of you as an employee. support, leadership skills and communication. It givesinsights into the things that Australian companies aredoing to demonstrate THE DEAL. It identifies where the6There is still some resistance to social media use externally by organisationsThere has been much research into employeeperspectives of the EVP. Our study complementsthe discussion by investigating the perceptions ofgaps are and opportunities for improvement.We know that for different people and organisations, theEVP means different things and for many its not commonthe EVP amongst the leadership community withinlanguage only 35% of our survey respondents wereAustralian organisations.7familiar with the term. In this research weve identified a Organisations that use social media internally are backing their investmentnumber of attributes and benefits that commonlydetermine an employees attraction and commitmentto an organisation. Watson Wyatt summarise the EVPas, including pay and benefit programs, professional8 Communication disciplines are becoming development opportunities and work environment. stronger but more needs to be done around aligning messages with vision, values and strategy4 COMMSOSCOPY WWW.IMPACT.COM.AU COMMSOSCOPY5 4. Open wide:Trends incongruously they were ranked 7 and 8 out of 10 by leaders when the attributes are listed by importance (SeeOur 2009 survey concluded that robust planning, table 2 on page 7). This raises questions for organisationsprocess and leadership ownership of communication is effort going in to demonstrating and communicatingwould be critical for employee engagement in the yearsahead. Given the increasing importance of reminding those attributes that really differentiate? Or have the areas This will make you better. of importance shifted, thus indicating the need to alter theemployees what theyre getting back, we take a look emphasis for communication and action?When asked which attributes and benefits were perceived to be most important to employees, there wasat EVP through the eyes of leaders in Australia. a high level of consistency from the leaders in our survey: organisation culture and values, strength of Finally, whilst internal social media use is still growingThe 2009 survey showed communicating vision andleadership and organisational stability ranking the highest as the most important attributes. in popularity in organisations, the research shows somedirection was the number one priority for 2009 and differences in the way companies who use social media2010. Given this and changes in the workingview themselves compared to others. They consider Knowing this provides a useful guide to organisationsOf the three most important attributes only organisationalenvironment in the last few years, we could assume themselves more effective in communicating andto prioritise actions. stability is considered one of the three top things thatcommunicating strategy and business performancedemonstrating all the EVP attributes exceptorganisations do communicate and demonstrate well. In support, the Executive Monitor2 report states(which contribute to organisational stability) will have organisational stability. We are beginning to see some This indicates a wide gap between the priority areas and A companys culture and reputation is important to 21%been a focus for businesses; yet table 1 below showshow well they are being communicated and demonstrated. differences in the cultures and communication of executives, and ranked higher than personal benefitsonly 50% of leaders consider they are doing this well. approaches for those companies that embrace sociallike bonuses, perks and salary. It appears executives,This highlights the need to align and consistently media internally. like employees, also want to be associated with ancommunicate strategy, direction and performanceorganisation they can be proud of, rather than just focusCulture eats strategy for breakfast Overall the research results show there are some big gaps on the rewards they individually receive from a company.more effectively. appearing. Demonstrating and communicating the Peter Drucker, popularised in 2006 by the FordOrganisational reputation, training and developmentemployment deal is critical for businesses over the nextWatson Wyatts1 research shows only 58% of globalMotor Company.are recognised as the attributes organisations are businesses consider they effectively educate employees few years and over 50% of those with responsibility for about organisational culture and values here in Australia.demonstrating and communicating well. However, communicating it are admitting that it isnt being done well. Demonstrating and communicating culture and values certainly seems to be an issue with 47% leaderstable 1considering that they do it well (see table 1 previous page). As it is perceived to be the most important attribute (see table 2), much more needs to be done to develop it, demonstrate it and communicate it. table 2 WHATIMPACT We see organisations grappling with ways to communicate their business strategy SAYSand some progress is certainly being made with this. Fewer organisations seem to have a planned approach for communicating the employment deal, yet there are some organisations taking a holistic approach to all aspects of the deal and creating the employment story to improve relations between the organisation and the employee. Doing this has a tangible impact on retention and engagement.6 COMMSOSCOPYWWW.IMPACT.COM.AU COMMSOSCOPY 7 5. Were here to help:But what about after the honeymoon period? Yet its apparent many of the mechanisms for communicating the EVP focus on one-wayThree in four organisations (77%) use an employee communication channels i.e. where the employee isintranet site to communicate aspects of EVP. Most being given in