What is the AVID framework?


AVID written in blocks

In our work with teams around the world, we often discuss the different ways you can approach stakeholders internally to engage them about the importance of great communication.

In a conversation with a client in the USA recently, I was reminded of the AVID framework for internal communication. It’s one that I’m aware of but don’t use as often as other, more specific models around change or culture.

It prompted me go back and read a bit more about the framework, especially as the A is for Alignment and I’ve talked a lot about this being something we need to focus on more in organisations. I wrote about this in my blog, Is employee engagement the great distraction for internal communication teams?

The AVID framework explained

The AVID framework was created by Dr Kevin Ruck and it stands for Alignment, Voice, Identification and Dialogue. It’s a contemporary framework for good internal communication practice that is linked to employee engagement and organisational success.

Alignment: connecting team work to corporate strategy. This is about helping employees to understand how their work aligns to corporate objectives.

Voice: give employees a voice and listen to them. Analyse what is being said and identify the themes.

Identification: help employees feel part of an organisation through authentic leadership, storytelling and channels that encourage human connection.

Dialogue: underpinning each of these elements is conversations.

How can you use AVID in your organisation?

The simplicity of this model is what makes it a great framework to check in on your current internal communication strategy. You can easily map questions to each aspect of the model and make sure that you’re focusing on more than just the tactical delivery of content and channels.

Alignment: do we know if people feel connected to the strategy? Do we know what it looks like when people are connected and when they aren’t?

Voice: do we have channels in our organisation that help us listen to everyone? Do we have the right skills to analyse this and take action?

Identification: do people feel that they belong? Do we tell stories about our people inside and outside? Are our leaders authentic and credible?

Dialogue: do we have conversations? Do we know how to have productive disagreements? Are the leadership team open to challenge?

For me, the model shows you some quick areas you can explore and the questions I’ve suggested here will help you focus any diagnosis into the root cause of any chaos that might be happening. When we apply The Field Model for internal communication , we work through our three stages on understand, diagnose and fix, tailored to your organisation, but you could easily start the process by exploring your answers in these four AVID areas.

Further reading:

The AVID framework for internal communication (PR Academy)

Top tips for internal communications measurement (CIPR)

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