internal communications guide

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I asked an agency to draft a communications guide to help improve communication skills across CEMEX UK, specifically amongst managers. Here is the full version. A pocket version was also created.

Transcript of internal communications guide


2. Contents Introduction from UK President, Gonzalo Galindo 01 Who is this guide for? 02 What is internal communication? 02 Internal communication and employee engagement 03 The CEMEX approach 04 Our process 05 Who should I communicate with? 06 Why do I want to communicate? 07 What do I want to communicate? 08 How should I communicate? 09 When should I communicate? 14 Who is responsible for communicating? 15 How will I evaluate the effectiveness of the communication? 15 CEMEX UKs communication channels 16 It starts with you 18 Some principles of effective influencing skills 19 Where to get help 21 3. 0 Dear Colleagues Welcome and thank you for taking the time to read this brief guide to internal communication. I hope that you find it a useful tool that makes it easier for all of us at CEMEX UK to share information, ideas and feedback with each other. I grew up in a family with two sisters who talked a lot and two brothers who didnt like to listen. At home and at work, good communications involves the ability to pay attention to what others are thinking and feeling. In other words, an important part of communication is not just talking, but listening to what others have to say. At CEMEX UK, we are like any other large family, where we face some key communication challenges every day. Our first challenge is therefore to listen, taking the time to understand the way others may interpret and respond to what we tell them is the most important part of any conversation. Our second challenge is to communicate more dynamically. We all need to find ways of crafting and presenting the messages we want to communicate so that the people we are trying to reach will want to listen to them and act on them. Lastly, I hope that I am someone who listens as well as talks. But I am only one man and I cannot communicate directly with each of our 5,000 employees by myself. So I need your help. As UK President I am a leader with a responsibility to communicate. But my ambition is for everyone at CEMEX UK to take a lead in the area of internal communication. Anyone who shares valuable information and ideas about whats good and bad about our business and the conversation they are having across the company is showing great leadership. With this guide I hope we can use the power of good communication to make CEMEX UK a better business for us all to work in. Gonzalo Galindo UK President Introduction from Gonzalo Galindo 4. 0 We all have a responsibility to communicate. This guide aims to provide us all with some valuable tips, tools and processes to help improve the way we communicate across CEMEX UK. It includes useful guidance on developing individual and team communication plans and using tried-and-tested techniques to ensure our communication is well planned and compelling, credible and consistent. Who is this guide for? Internal communication is a conversation. It is an exchange that requires participants to listen as well as talk. It is about helping everyone at CEMEX UK build productive relationships with each other. It can take place face to face, over e-mail, by telephone, via websites, videos, posters, newsletters and through all the usual ways we use to communicate beyond the work place. To get the most out any communication a fair amount of planning is needed and the following guidelines have been drawn up to help you achieve this. In order to produce communication that is memorable and effective, you must first evaluate who, why, what, where, when and how you will formulate your message. Aim to produce your message in a way that makes it compelling and credible to your audience and is consistent with CEMEX UKs commercial goals, brand and values. Evaluate the success of your communication by the way in which those who received your message listen and respond through both dialogue and action. What is internal communication? TOP TIP | The same communication skills that you use in life, (such as listening, honesty and speaking from the heart) can play a valuable role in communicating at work. 5. 0 Internal communication is important because it affects not just what we know, but also how we feel, as employees of CEMEX UK. The extent to which we feel both well informed about, and personally committed to, our company and its goals is called employee engagement. Internal CommunicationEmployee Engagement Numerous studies indicate that higher levels of employee engagement lead to happier, more productive and more profitable companies. Our ability to communicate successfully with each other at CEMEX UK will play a crucial part in achieving employee engagement as we will inspire each other to go the extra mile to deliver superior performance. In contrast, lack of effective and co-ordinated internal communication can lead to an unclear sense of business direction, information overload and lost productivity. TOP TIP | People follow people and are more motivated by emotion than they are by reason. Studies show that your personal performance as a messenger is more important than the messages you want to communicate. How much I know How much I care RATIONAL EMOTIONAL OUR GOAL OF HIGH EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT 6. 0 The way we communicate with each other should set the standard for everything else we do at CEMEX UK. Its rooted in our mission, our brand and our values and is based on best practice that can help all of us to communicate more effectively and consistently. The CEMEX approach The CEMEX Values We are a diverse group of people from many different countries, cultures and backgrounds. But, regardless of our individual circumstances, we all share the same company values: Collaboration: Work with others in a collective pursuit of excellence Integrity: Act honestly, responsibly and respectfully toward others at all times Leadership: Envision the future and focus on service, excellence and competitiveness Our Business Strategy Through good internal communication, we can work together to deliver our strategic goals. Our strategy is to grow by extending high standards to all parts of the operations, through Pricing Discipline Efficiency Improvements Cost and Expense Control Development of New Ideas Improving Our Asset Base and Getting The Basics Right by focusing on Our People and Our Customers.TOP TIP | The most effective communication is not words but behaviour. Make sure your actions deliver what you promise. 7. 0 Good communication doesnt happen by accident. It may seem effortless to the recipient but it is actually a result of careful planning, well-managed implementation and measurement of results. Our Process The communications planning process can be broken down into seven steps: 1 | Who should I communicate with? 2 | Why do I want to communicate? 3 | What do I want to communicate? 4 | How should I communicate? 5 | When should I communicate? 6 | Who is responsible for communicating? 7 | How will I evaluate the effectiveness of the communication? TOP TIP | You dont have time to communicate everything to everyone. Decide which messages are most important and communicate a few things well rather than lots of things badly. 8. 0 The first step to delivering a successful message, whether it is in a meeting, or via UK News or Our Voice, is to think about the needs and expectations of the people you want to communicate with. Who should I communicate with? The questions below will help you to prioritise your message and choose the most appropriate approach for your communication. Who is my audience? What do they need/want to know? Why should they be interested? What matters to them? What are their perceptions likely to be? When is it right for them to know? Who do they want to hear from? Where do they find out more? What else is going on in their world? How will they best understand my message? TOP TIP | Just because you think something is interesting and important doesnt mean that others will feel the same way. Put yourself in your audiences shoes and ask yourself Whats In It For Me? 9. 0 Communication does not work unless people believe in it. Giving information isnt enough. We need a programme of effective communication to engage our people at CEMEX UK and move from just hearing about our mission, values and goals to believing and living them. Why do I want to communicate? TOP TIP | Remember that in the absence of clear and effective internal communication an informal grapevine of rumour and speculation will fill the void. Hear and Be Aware Conceptual HEARINGIT PHASE Understand and Accept Superficial BELIEVINGIT PHASE EmotionalPersonal LIVINGIT PHASE Personalise and Promote Time DegreeofSupportforChange Employee Motivation and Morale Live the story Own the story Clarify the story 10. 0 Place your most important points first and make them as interesting as you can. Put them in context so that your audience understand why the message matters and how it relates to them. What do I want to communicate? TOP TIP | Your audience will only remember a maximum of one or two of the messages you deliver. Keep it simple and dont overload them with information. Developing your messages can be made easier by using the inverted pyramid below Key messages 1. 2. 3. Headline or title 5 Ws or conclusion (Who, What, Why, Where, When) Detail Supporting points Planning Phase Communicating Phase 11. 0 How you choose to communicate depends on the impact your message is likely to have on your target audience. How should I communicate? TOP TIP | Be consistent. Chose your channel to match the needs of your audience. For example, if the audience will need to discuss and challenge the communication then use face- to-face channels. But if raising awareness is your goal then using email, UK News or Our Voice might be more appropriate. Style and tone is also important. Consider, for instance, whether you need to demonstrate solidarity with your audience or show leadership. It is critica