Jenni Field

Working from home reduces productivity by 20%

Last week I shared a podcast clip from The Diary of a CEO. It’s hosted by Stephen Bartlett and in this episode, he interviews retail consultant and broadcaster, Mary Portas. The clip I shared (25.30) is the part of the conversation where they discuss remote work and the importance of the office – I agree …

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Inspiring Goodies – The Bold Type, rest and recuperation, and Rebel Ideas

The Bold Type – showcasing warm, inspirational and strong female leadership I have binge-watched The Bold Type on Netflix in the last few months. For anyone that hasn’t watched it, it’s four seasons of three female friends working at a fashion magazine in America. Why was I so glued? It was a strong female cast, …

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The pandemic revolution

The pandemic revolution

It’s going to take us 25 years to reap the true benefits of flexible working… that’s if the industrial revolution is anything to go by. During my camping holiday in Cornwall I finished reading Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed and I cannot recommend it enough. I have highlighted so much of the book but a …

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Better Business Act

Why we’ve signed up to support the Better Business Act

Redefining Communications has recently signed up to support the Better Business Act, which calls for every company in the UK to align the interest of their shareholders with those of wider society and environment. It was launched in Westminster in April 2021, with business leaders, coalition supporters, MPs and peers campaigning to change the law. …

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Inspiring Goodies: empowerment vs autonomy, is IC management consultancy and freedom in a framework

This was an interesting month for inspiration as I found myself focused on the results of my line manager research and my book launch events. The line manager research has thrown up 12 key things for organisations to consider and my online book launch event included some interesting questions about internal communication and the role …

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autonomy

Empowered decision-making is not really decision-making at all

When it comes to the different approaches to management and culture, many leaders have moved on from command and control. This top-down approach has its place in organisations where leaders prefer to be the authority figure – the ultimate decision-makers. The problem is that this rigid approach doesn’t allow team members to develop management or …

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line manager research

Line managers need investment in communication skills and relevant content from the centre

Throughout March and April, we carried out some research into the role of line managers in organisations. This is for line managers to tell us more about their roles, their capabilities, and the support they must have to do their job. We want to know more about their purpose, how they communicate with their team, …

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audio zoom fatigue

How to beat Zoom fatigue and harness the power of audio

May is National Walking Month in the UK. When I was speaking at the Global Women in PR Inside Stories event recently, I talked about the rise of audio and how its popularity is due largely to the fact you can listen while you walk, drive, run or clean. During the hour session I shared …

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The Field Model

Out in the Field

Back in 2019 Ben Reynolds, Managing Director of Gallagher’s Employee Experience and Communication division, engaged Jenni to implement The Field Model™ and explore the reality of the culture and communication inside the organisation. Understand, diagnose and fix The company wanted to address the symptoms they were seeing, such as stress and staff retention, and find …

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Fear culture hybrid working

How fear and culture will impact hybrid working

In February I wrote about hybrid working and asked if the term is a red herring for leaders. In the blog I said: “So rather than getting caught up in the latest buzzword of hybrid organisations, can we focus instead on the need for flexibility. Flexibility that reflects the reality of life today. A way …

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There is my truth, there is your truth, and there is fact

In this blog, which was originally featured in Influence, I talk about being mindful of interpretation. A few years ago, I was at lunch with a coach and we were chatting about experiences and interpretation of events. They used this example: If someone stands outside this restaurant with a clipboard and asks you questions about …

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Inspiring Goodies: the people who inspire me, five seconds and leaders with purpose

What’s inspired me in the last month? Here are three things you can listen to (podcast episode and a book) and read (book and report)! Sharing insights on my podcastIn the final episode of series two of my podcast (Calm Edged Rebels) the three of us discuss those who inspire us. We talk about celebrities, …

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Influential Internal Communication – book launch

This week my first book is being published. The idea of writing the book started in May 2019 and with encouragement from those around me it became a reality in August 2019 when publishers Kogan Page supported the idea and concept of what was originally called Take your organisation from chaos to calm – and …

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Why you need to invest in your communication skills to stay focused and productive

It’s becoming increasingly hard to focus our attention. We live in a noisy world; one that makes us feel like we need to keep up with the latest news, messages, posts or podcasts. Are you suffering from noise pollution? A few years ago, I read Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig. One section …

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Line managers under the microscope

New research into the role of line managers! Line managers matter; they hold the key to many challenges inside organisations. They are one of the key elements to effective internal communication and an important part of The Field Model™ approach. We understand the importance of line managers from our Remotely Interested research back in 2019. Now it’s time to understand …

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Psychological safety and trust are not the same thing

I have been listening to and reading The Fearless Organization by Amy Edmondson. It’s a book that was recommended to me by Dr Kevin Ruck, co-founder of the PR Academy, and one I have advocated since I started it. Grounded in research and insight, the book covers everything you need to know about the importance of psychological safety …

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Why competitive busyness is toxic for you and others around you

I talk a lot about productivity, setting boundaries and managing attention. In the last six months I have seen a huge increase in a sense of competitiveness over how ‘busy’ we all are. For those that have listened to the productivity episode on the podcast I co-host with Trudy Lewis and Advita Patel, you’ll know that I …

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Inspiring Goodies: the series everyone was talking about, psychological safety and Clubhouse

Every month we’ll share three things that have inspired our thinking over the last month for you to have a look at, listen to or read: 1. The series everyone was talking about Schitts Creek – it was the series of 2020 that everyone around me was talking about. We eeked it out as much …

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Hybrid working

Is the focus on hybrid working a red herring for leaders?

In this blog, (original version featured in Influence), I talk about the changes in the workplace and the overuse of the word hybrid. I was prompted to write it after a recent Clubhouse chat I was co-moderating, where we talked about the leadership skills needed in a hybrid world. Since the pandemic hit there has been …

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Inspiring Goodies: ways we delude ourselves, trust and accountability

Last year Inspiring Goodies was a section in my monthly newsletter, Perspective, but for 2021 we are bringing them to our blog to share a little wider. Each month, there will be three things that have inspired our thinking over the last month for you to have a look at, listen to or read: 1. …

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Why being more specific in 2021 is essential for organisations

At the end of last year, I asked my community across LinkedIn and Twitter what they thought the trends were going to be for business and communications in 2021. I asked people from across the globe and I also reached out to my contacts in the USA to find out what their specific views were. …

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The skills we need to take us into the next era of comms and engagement

The Bionic Business report from simplycommunicate provides insight into the way organisations need to change to adapt to a hybrid working environment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report outlines three key characteristics of what a bionic organisation is: They go beyond simple empathy, and everyone is united behind a common purpose so …

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Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Aligning needs to employee engagement – how we can easily get it wrong with the best intentions

Many people working in communications, marketing and PR will be familiar with Marlow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It is often one of the main models taught when studying the theory behind what we do. I revisited it recently in the book Art of Resilience, by Ross Edgley, and a story in that book made me think …

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Mental resilience

Spotting burnout: seven ways to solve your stress cycle

I’ve been doing a lot of research recently into mental resilience, reading about the increasing burnout, stress and loneliness we’re experiencing; the sense of being overwhelmed and difficulty in separating our work life from home life. Much of this, of course, has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that many of us …

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Illustration of the circadian rhythm

Why routine and focus is a challenge right now

This week I finished listening to the audio version of Ross Edgley’s Art of Resilience. He talks a lot about circadian rhythm in the book (which tells the story of his endurance swim round the United Kingdom) and towards the end he mentioned zeitgebers. All of this got me thinking about work, why we are …

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Employee Apps – where do we start?

In a world where most of us have smartphones (76% of people in “advanced economies”), be that a company device or personal, we are better connected with our employers now than ever before. Thanks to our devices we can receive news/updates, employee services, and all manner of work-related activities anytime/anywhere. This has been of particular …

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Hybrid working – what people are really thinking

The phrase “Hybrid working” isn’t new but it’s being used more and more. Most of us will understand it to mean a blend of working from home and the office, with greater flexibility than we had pre-Covid. It sounds reasonable enough, but what are the realities of this new way of working? What do leaders …

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What questions are we still asking?

Our blog celebrated its 10th birthday this week and we’ve been going back through the archives to see what has/hasn’t changed. We’ve picked the top three things that jumped out at me but feel free to have a scroll through, let us know what you think! 1. What is internal communication (IC)? Back in 2012 …

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The role of the communicator in influence and leadership

There are six pieces of advice that I always give when it comes to leadership and influence. During the MemCom conference this week I chatted through all six with examples from real experiences as well as books and podcasts to check out: Be genuine This isn’t about being authentic, it’s about being genuinely you. To …

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When home-working isn’t always the future you think it is

Since we all shifted to working from home I have been wondering; what will cities and offices look like in the future and what will our homes become if this becomes the ‘new normal’. I’m fascinated to see what will happen to the world of work when we are gradually allowed back outside and back …

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How do ‘Connected Companies’ communicate in a crisis?

This morning I joined Hannah Sardar from Workplace by Facebook for a webinar hosted by the team (Graham Mackay and Jack Paine) at Generation Digital. Between the three of us we covered some of the themes around communications in a crisis, how Workplace can be the tool to help connect your teams and how to …

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Comms, Change and Neuroscience – what’s the link?

Last week we attended the first Talk/50 event on Communications and Neuroscience. Hosted by Trudy Lewis of Lewis Communicate we heard from author Hilary Scarlett who spoke about her research, all captured in her book – the Neuroscience for Organizational Change: An Evidence-based Practical Guide to Managing Change (2nd edition just out). We heard more …

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State of the Sector 2020: What will it take to overcome our barriers?

Today I attended the annual state of the sector event hosted by Gatehouse, a Gallagher Company. This is always a ‘must attend’ event in my calendar as I’m keen to hear how things are shifting for internal communicators. I’m not sure annual surveys help us that much anymore. I have been thinking about this for …

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Edelman’s Trust Barometer 2020: is ethics on your radar?

Edelman’s Trust Barometer has been running for 20 years. With over 34,000 respondents across 28 markets, it’s a trusted source and snapshot into trust in business, government, NGOs and media. Many of us working in communications have the annual launch date of this report marked in our diaries because we use these findings to inform …

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Mental health – the topic we love to talk about but hate to deal with

Mental well-being is a topic that more and more people are talking about as our society continues to evolve at pace with pressures from all angles to keep up with expectations. For those in PR it is something that comes up more and more because of the endemic always on expectation, 24-7 media, and increasing …

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Be strategic with the tactical, and do an Adobe course if it’s where your passion lies

This week a question was asked to the IC Crowd about skills required for jobs in internal communications. The specifics were around recruiters telling someone they needed Adobe skills for a role and it has divided opinion. From some saying it makes a mockery of the specialism to others saying it is a skill they …

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How do you achieve great communication in a multi-site organisation?

Last year Lee Sheldon, founder of Mastering Multi-Units (MMU) invited me onto his podcast to talk about my experience in supporting organisations communicate with a remote workforce. I worked with Lee during my time at SSP as the Head of Internal Communications for the UK where our challenge was to communicate effectively with 10,000 employees. …

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The importance of communication in your organisation

Earlier this month I hosted a workshop with Neil Tomalin to discuss the importance of communication inside organisations. As a roundtable discussion we wanted to speak to those who don’t work in a communications function to help them explore their own communication style, understand a bit more about internal communication and its significance in the …

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Why the new labour policy won’t help the employee voice

This week the Labour party announced plans to bring the employee voice into the Boardroom. Under Labour’s plans, all companies with a workforce of 250 or more, whether public or private, would be required by law to reserve at least one third of places at the boardroom table for employee representatives. While the theory is …

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Book Review: Get Social by Michelle Carvill: Social media strategy and tactics for leaders

When this book arrived, and I started to read a bit about who it was aimed at I wasn’t too sure why Kogan Page sent it to me to review. The book is aimed at leaders to help them understand the world of social media and how to use it for the benefit of their …

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The art of science and engagement in internal communication

We know that internal communicators are struggling to influence at the top, finding digital adoption hard across organisations and working with limited budgets. Some of the conversation we need to have are increasingly challenging and opinion or experience might not be enough to win your case. Last week, at the CIPR Northern Conference in Newcastle, …

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AB Thinks Live: Confidence, Content and Purpose

Last week communications agency AB hosted their fourth AB Thinks Live event in London. I was their facilitator for the day and you can read my opening comments on the future of work here. Speakers covered purpose, virtual reality, culture and technology and the panel delved into the skills internal communicators need in the future. …

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The Big Yak 2018 – what internal communicators are talking about

Last week I hosted The Big Yak with my fellow IC Crowd co-founders Rachel Miller and Dana Leeson. It was our fourth event and our biggest one yet with 160 internal communication professionals gathered together on a Saturday to set the agenda for the day ahead. These were the topics they chose to discuss and …

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Who is the best communicator in your business?

Communication – the key component to getting relationships right – is often taken for granted, yet frequently trips up organisations when it goes wrong. Given the evidence that it is the root cause of so much trouble (large and small), you might assume that most reasonably sized organisations would have an internal communications strategy in …

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A blend of the right capabilities will deliver better outcomes

Earlier this week I attended IBM THINK Collaboration London – an opportunity to hear more about the latest updates to their collaboration suite and more importantly for me, a chance to really understand how Watson will help make organisations more efficient. During my 13 years in-house I used a mix of social intranets (wordpress with …

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From informing to engaging: the role of IC in driving engaging and authentic leadership communications

This morning CIPR Inside and Luminous hosted an Ask the Guru event all about the shift from informing to engaging audiences inside organisations. As the Chair of CIPR Inside I was there to open the event and facilitate any questions. The event was designed to explore the role of internal communication in driving engaging and …

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Why internal communication is the key to brand authenticity

This morning I attended a breakfast event hosted by VMA Group on the topic of authenticity. The session was led by Matt Hampshire from MK and he was supported by Ed Austin from Wagamama and together they took us through five rules for authenticity. During the hour they took us through examples from Wagamama as …

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Employee engagement isn’t about happiness, it’s about outcomes

Is employee engagement still on your agenda? A few weeks I blogged on AB thinks (for my client AB) about employee engagement and employee experience – here are my thoughts on how things have changed… Today commentators are using a new term – employee experience – described as the next competitive frontier for organisations. The …

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Tips for communicating with volunteers

Last week I was asked for some insight into volunteer communication on the back of my involvement with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). I have been working with CIPR for a number of years and leading the internal communications group has given me some understanding of what to consider when communicating and engaging …

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What I heard at the National Housing Federation Comms Event 2018

Yesterday I was invited to speak at the National Housing Federation Comms Event in London to talk about how you can demonstrate impact and value in internal communications. I hadn’t attended a specific housing event before and it was great to see over 250 people together to learn, discuss and network about challenges and share …

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Four things I heard at the Employee Engagement Awards Conference

Last week I attended my first Employee Engagement Awards Conference – hosted by Ruth Dance and organised by Matt Manners and the team behind the global employee engagement awards. I was excited to attend a conference dedicated to employee engagement as it’s been a while since I attended something that wasn’t focussed purely on communication. …

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What is the state of the sector in 2018?

Last week I attended the Gatehouse (Gallagher Communications) State of the Sector research*. It was an insightful morning with some good debate in the room and a clear desire to further understand some of the data points. The research shows the results from over 650 communication professionals representing more than 400 organisations and based all …

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Should we view change as a specialist skill or is it the norm?

When I think about specialisms within our profession PR, media relations, Public Affairs, Internal Communications etc. come to mind – but not Change. This thought came to mind as I was looking at research which specified change management as a discipline and when I was looking at a job spec for a permanent role which …

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Is internal social media a danger to mental health?

Earlier this year I started following Matt Haig on Twitter. This was partly because I was taking part in the charity ride to Hull which was linked to men’s mental health and suicide prevention. A few weeks ago, Matt shared an article he had written about social media and the links it has to depression …

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Let’s stop feeling bad about our internal social media

Today I attended my second, albeit not consecutively, simply communicate SMiLE event in London. The format was much the same as before but my reasons for attending very different. Now four months into the new role I need to learn more about Office 365 so I was on the hunt to learn more. There were …

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Time to choose salad instead of a pie

Attending the Edelman trust research breakfast launch earlier this week got me thinking. Trust in organisations and leadership is something I feel incredibly passionate about. This is, in part, because it’s something we all have the power to change. And while it isn’t simple, it shouldn’t be difficult to be open and honest with employees.  …

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Align, drive or engage – can all three come together?

Everything I am reading about what 2016 will bring to internal communications is about employee engagement. And at a time when I’m putting pen to paper on my own communications strategy it got me thinking about what it does in my organisation – and I’m not sure employee engagement is on the list. Writing that …

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Using communication to change behaviour for better business

In September I asked the question, on LinkedIn, what is internal communication? I gave you my top three and you took up the challenge to let me know what your top three were and if I missed anything. What really pleased me about the comments was how we all agreed that internal communication should link …

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