In an effort to bring world-class knowledge and experience to PETRONAS ICT, Strategic Communications (SC) recently held its first brown bag session for the year, focusing on the importance of Internal Communication. Presented by Dr. Kevin Ruck of the United Kingdom's Public Relations Academy, the event was attended by managers and members of PETRONAS ICT’s leadership team.
A seasoned professional, Dr. Ruck has over 18 years of communications experience and has worked across various sectors including ICT in the UK. Together with his wife Ann Pilkington, they founded PR Academy in 2007, a leading public relations (PR) and communication education provider in the UK and the largest centre for Chartered Institute for Public Relations (CIPR) qualifications.
In his presentation, Dr. Ruck talked about the evolution of internal communication and its impact on organisations.
"Internal communication has its roots in internal newspaper publications that were established in large organisations in the UK and US in 1980s. Since then it has evolved to become increasingly recognised as a valuable strategic function that helps organisations achieve their business objectives," he said.
Citing recent research, he stressed that internal communication is closely linked to employee engagement, which in turn, is associated with revenue growth, higher profit, better customer satisfaction, higher productivity, more innovation and lower employee turnover.
Dr. Ruck also presented his methodology for internal communication best practice. "From my own research, I have developed a contemporary framework that contains four components; Alignment, Voice, Identification, Dialogue or AVID. It is strategically linked to employee engagement and organisational success.
In practical terms, the AVID approach entails line managers focusing on alignment where they 'make the connections' between local teamwork and corporate objectives. This is more than simply presenting a centrally produced briefing; it requires making plans and progress relevant and meaningful.
When employees receive regular updates on the vision, values, strategy and change from senior managers in informal face-to-face gatherings, it makes them feel valued and enables them to better identify with their organisation.
Both line managers and senior managers are expected to give opportunities for employees to make suggestions and have a say (voice) and discuss what is going on in an ongoing meaningful dialogue," added Dr. Ruck.
He concluded that the internal communication team itself becomes much more strategic and adds more value to the organisation when it adopts the AVID framework.