Internal Communication

Why employee engagement needs to be more than just campaigns and rewards

In 2020 I read The Art of Resilience by Ross Edgley. In the book, Ross shares the story of his swim round the UK. There are many aspects to the story that have stayed with me and one, in particular, made me write a blog at the end of last year too about how easily …

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Culture shock – why we need to be more intentional when communicating organisational culture

I’ve been writing and speaking a lot recently about culture and the return to the office. It’s becoming the topic for everyone in business as we navigate the changes in the workplace due to the COVID19 pandemic. For many, the conversation is around hybrid working, but you’ll know from my earlier blogs that I believe …

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Culture shock – why we need to be more intentional when communicating organisational culture

I’ve been writing and speaking a lot recently about culture and the return to the office. It’s becoming the topic for everyone in business as we navigate the changes in the workplace due to the COVID19 pandemic. For many, the conversation is around hybrid working, but you’ll know from my earlier blogs that I believe …

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Jenni presenting subscribe to our community

From panic to purpose in a post-pandemic world

Jenni was recently the keynote speaker at the PRSA Employee Communications conference. The theme of the event was communicating with intention and Jenni shared her thoughts and advice on how we can go from panic to purpose in a post-pandemic world. Jenni shared six key things with the attendees and has created this video to explain …

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Inspiring Goodies – Remote Work, Ted Lasso and Sideways

Remote Work I’ve just been reading the book Remote Work by Chris Dyer and Kim Shepherd. We share the same publishers and Chris and I hosted an online event together earlier this year. Chris is the founder and CEO of PeopleG2, where he manages 30 full-time remote employees and 3,000 independent contractors. I loved his …

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communication trends

The five biggest trends in business communication and what it means for leaders today

In this article for Companies Digest, Jenni shares her insights into the communication trends leaders need to address in 2021. “It’s a well-known phenomenon that a crisis will always escalate an existing trend. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw some key communication issues that were already bubbling away, rise to the top of the agenda …

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Virtual event

Setting our direction – a virtual event for LifeArc

LifeArc is an independent medical research charity helping turn promising early science into products that improve patients’ lives. At the start of 2021, the charity wanted to communicate its strategy and launch four new goals to all employees. We have worked with the LifeArc Corporate Affairs team over several years. Our role has been to …

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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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“The must-have book for every internal communicator in 2021”

In this Internal Comms Pro: The Podcast episode Jenni talks about the need to define internal communication within your organisation, core challenges, how to fill your professional skill gap, culture and the rhythm of the organisation, why gaining influence is your responsibility, where internal communication is headed, and how to be prepared. “Internal communication is …

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How to return to the workplace (or not) – in a post-COVID world

This article is a snippet from the Inspiring Workplaces eBook, which is packed with lots of suggestions from the top 101 influencers. Jenni was asked to contribute and she talks about the fact that hybrid isn’t new; people have been working flexibly for years and there are millions of workers who serve on the frontline …

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Global - chaos to calm

Finding calm in a global crisis

In this article for CIPR International about finding calm in a global crisis, Jenni discusses The Field Model™ and the impact of globalisation on organisations. “Internal communication has never been more important. In a year when we’ve been forced to change how we’ve worked for decades, the need to connect and engage a workforce in …

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SiteVisibility Internet Marketing Podcast

Turning your internal communication from chaos to calm

In this interview with The SiteVisibility Internet Marketing Podcast – one of the UK’s most popular internet marketing podcasts – Jenni shares the common symptoms of businesses that are suffering from deep-rooted internal communication issues and how we should go about solving them. Jenni also talks about her book, Influential Internal Communication. Listen now

Leadership Insights for Professionals

Six leadership skills to master for better internal communication

In this article for Insights for Professionals, Jenni discusses how leadership is more than being able to delegate. Without effective communication, a leader’s team can quickly descend into chaos and disorder: “The defining trait for leaders shouldn’t be their ability to transform – doing what you do well, focusing on the basics and becoming an …

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Hybrid working

Hybrid working

Jenni hosts this discussion on CIPR’s quarterly Engage podcast. Jenni explores the different definitions of hybrid working and highlights the influence of organisational culture in adapting to working life in a post-lockdown world. She is joined by: Kate Shaw – Senior Internal Comms Manager for Nationwide Building Society  Martin Flegg – Chair of Inside CIPR committee  Sofia Cann – Head of Marketing …

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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 – Gallagher Employee Experience and Communication

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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Communication and chaos

Keep calm: fix organisational chaos, streamline communication and drive engagement

Organisations are complex. People are complex. It takes time and some difficult conversations to find calm amongst the chaos. This article – Keep calm: fix organisational chaos, streamline communication and drive engagement – was written by Jenni Field for Catalyst, the publication of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Jenni talks about how chaos …

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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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Influential Internal Communication

The Internal Comms Podcast – in this episode, Jenni talks to Katie Macaulay about the ideas and frameworks outlined in her new book, Influential Internal Communication. Katie and Jenni talk about chaos – what this looks like from a business perspective and what causes disorder – and how to use communication as a diagnostic tool …

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How to communicate your way from chaos to calm

In this article, Jenni Field talks to The Institute of Leadership & Management to discuss her thoughts on how great internal communication can help leaders to fine-tune their collaborative reflexes amongst teams. She talks about how leaders in recovery mode need to look at the underlying rhythm of their organisation: “Examine the tempo of how …

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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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Employee engagement and internal communication are not the same thing

Internal communication was in the spotlight as one of the core disciplines within the communication remit last year. As we’ve moved office teams to work remotely and our frontline teams have been front of mind during the pandemic, our work in internal comms has enjoyed a bit of stardom. After years of being in the …

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Social Intranet or Enterprise Social Network? Is there a difference?

It has always been in my head. Ever since the move from traditional push based intranet systems to the introduction of tools like Sharepoint. I have worked in communications for 10 years and have been involved in four intranet projects in various companies. I have learnt a lot but I have also learnt that the …

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We’re all in the same boat… well ark!

I attended my first SMiLE London event yesterday hosted by the lovely team at Simply Communicate. In the summer of 2012 we launched an online tool to allow collaboration, de-centralised comms and people directories. It wouldn’t be a lie to say we have struggled with adoption ever since. It is our only online platform and …

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Those blurred lines between internal and external communication

Last week I co-hosted the Sequel aspic event on the blurred lines between internal and external communication. I was joined by Mairi Doyle, Director of Internal Communication for Bupa and about 30 comms professionals. The topic seems to be everywhere at the moment as we explore the role communications plays in business and whether there …

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Yakkety Yak! The launch of The Big Yak with The IC Crowd

Yesterday The IC Crowd hosted The Big Yak in Richmond. Over 130 internal comms people came together on a Saturday for debate, discussion and idea generation on all things internal comms. As one of the founders of The IC Crowd it was a great experience to organise the day and something we are all very …

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Twitter, Brands and Employees: Are you an ambassador online?

Tonight I tuned into #swchat on Twitter where the topic of employees, brands and social media was the discussion point. The debate opened with the question: Are employees on social media ambassadors for their brand even if their role is not a customer facing one? It was a timely debate given the article I read …

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