Sunday, January 12, 2020

Internal Corporate Communication Strategy

Therefore, the main objectives of the campaign are: To encourage all employee to be receptive to changes and new regulations within he East Coast and to be confident in implementing these changes. ; To promote a sense of social Identity within East Coast as a whole. To meet these objectives, the strategies put forward are: 1. To develop employee engagement, particularly in regards to changes in safety regulations, therefore dramatically decreasing the amount of accidents within 12 months. 2.To ensuring all internal corporate communications is company-wide and therefore cementing the East Coast social identity and removing the feeling of territory. 3. Promote awareness of the ‘EUREKA' changes recently undertaken by East Coast, ensuring all staff understand and feel comfortable acting on the new service within six months, with feedback opportunities during and after the changes. The tactic to Implement these strategies Includes a company-wide webbing and smaller meetings with a m ore focused discussion.It also recommends a company email network be arranged to make contact with all employees easier, as the current system Is dated and not efficient. Evaluation Includes feedback forms to monitor opinion and accident records to monitor and tangible changes. East Coast Main Line Company Limited Background East Cost Main Line Company limited (East Coast) is a train service provider that runs 1 55 train Journeys every weekday and has approximately 2,800 employees.The main train line runs from London up the Eastern side of the UK up to Edinburgh. (East Coast, AAA, p. 3) An owner of East Coast is a company named Directly Operated Railways, who are responsible for overseeing the activities of East Coast on behalf of the government. The structure of the organization Is hierarchical (see appendix 1) and contains a HRS manager and also a Head of Communications, both of whom would be Interested In the Internal corporate communication of East Coast.The 2011/2012 corporate objectives of East Coast are summarized as: ; To sustain and build on the successes IT 2 To make significant improvements in those areas where we need to -particularly in terms of operational safety; ; To place East Coast, amongst the best, if not second to none, within the Industry, in terms of safety. ‘ East Coast (2011, p. 3) These objectives appear vague and are not specific enough to show the real intent for East Coast during 2011/2012).The objectives do not say how the success will be measured and are not specific enough to East Coast; aside from the reference to feet, these objectives could apply to any organization. Sundry and Buck (1996, p. 43) explain that the more specific the objective, the easier it is for employees to understand what is expected of them and what they should be aiming at achieve, the East Coast objectives would be difficult for an employee to use for direction. For the year 2011/2012 East Coast Managing Director, Kate Boswell, has outlined 17 corp orate strategies for the organization to work towards (see appendix 2).This does not include the 27 other strategies that relate to specific areas within the business. Abram and Klein (2003, p. 1) state that a company's strategy should be able to be summed up in Just a few sentences and so the strategies set out by East Coast are possibly too extensive, though they are all specific, realistic, measurable, achievable and time- relevant and this is clearly explained in a small table that is given for each objective (see appendix 2). Newcomer (2010, up. 41-848) comments that the definition of a stakeholder now ‘extends well beyond the traditional concept of shareholders to include employees, suppliers, customers, trade unions, communities, etc. ‘ and by naming employees points out the importance of internal stakeholders. The three main internal stakeholders that East Coast should consider include: ; Board Members All employees Owners, including the government body ‘Di rectly Operated Railways' Currently East Coast has a quarterly internal magazine that is distributed.Messages and information is distributed by a printed letter being placed in each employee's tray at the main train station they work in, a relatively dated approach. Communication between depots and between different crews is limited as they do not currently have an opportunity to speak to one another. Before this campaign is implemented, search should be conducted to show a starting point to compare results at the end of the campaign. Research should include current opinion research of employees and accident records. Internal Corporate Communication Objectives Spirits and Swedes (2003, up. 0-71) outline the three basic aims of all internal communication; ensuring the information being communicated is understood, accepted by employees, with acceptance of the messages content, intent, relevance and merit; the majority of employees achieve the motivation, direction, information, or par ticipation intended by the message; and the aim of improving internal dialogue s achieved, which will then have a rippling effect on other areas of the business, such as product quality, sales, performance and, ultimately, customer satisfaction.This campaign will not consider any other area of internal communication, only Internal corporate communication. Internal corporate communication and its position among other internal communication areas is shown in the Internal Communication Matrix proposed by Welch (2007, up. 177-198) and gives possible internal corporate communication goals for an organization, such as to ‘promote awareness of its changing organization' and promote commitment to the organization' (see appendix 3). Internal corporate communication is concerned with communication to all employees from a top level.Throughout a welcome pack available on the East Coast website (2010), East Coast make regular references to the relationship they strive to create with staff. Page four states that they want to make East Coast a great place to work by keeping staff safe and encouraging employees to work as a team. On page five, four key values are outlined that all East Cast staff should aim to be. These are; be focused; be insistent; be human (placing people in the centre of the business); and be progressive.The board of East Coast also has an Employee Director to ensure that issues surrounding employees and employee communication are at a board room level (East Coast, Bibb, p. 5). Argentina (1996, p. 80) notes that organizations have ‘become more focused on retaining a happy workforce with changing values and different demographics, they have necessarily had to think more seriously about how they communicate with employees' and this is obviously something that East Coast has taken seriously.The objectives suggested for East Coast to ensure they work awards the corporate objectives of the organization (outlined on page 4), therefore ensuring inter nal communications is seen as a management function, are: sense of social identity within East Coast as a whole. Internal Corporate Communication Strategy A key theory for internal corporate communications is Media Richness Theory, especially in a large corporate such as East Coast. Media Richness is defined by Sock (2010 p. 0) saying ‘in this theory, different media are classified according to their degree of richness, which varies depending on the degree to which media incorporate certain characteristics. Four main characteristics define the richness of a medium, according to media richness theory. Two of them are the medium's ability to convey multiple communication tools (such as facial expression and intonations) and enable immediate feedback on the message being conveyed (a characteristic of synchronous communication). The other two†¦ Are the medium's support for language variety and personalization of the message. Daft and Lange (1986, p. 560), two of the main Medi a Richness theorists, give prominence to the first two characteristics, claiming the remaining to characteristics are related to the first two. Face-to-face communication is the richest type of communication, while communication such as email is seen as lean and as impersonal, though this is criticized by Sock (1999, p. 13-19), who states that the theory is too deterministic and technological development means Tanat email Ana toner electronic communication Is richer than assumed by the theory.However, this criticism was put forward by the Journal of Information Technology Impact and so may have a vested interest in encouraging the use of electronic media. East Coast may want to consider Media Features Theory (El Chainsaw and Markus, 1997) which found that people choose heir media dependent on its easiness of use and its effectiveness. This gives electronic media a prominent role in communication, especially in large organizations, where traditional media is no longer the norm.Media Features theory puts emphasis on modern media, which as seen as more appropriate within organizations as it is extremely time effective. However, Media Richness Theory would argue that though electronic media may be more time effective, it does not guarantee that the message will be seen by the target audience as many people do not read generic emails. East Coast should consider the level of media richness of different immunization channels when planning on implementing the recommended internal corporate communication strategies detailed below. 1.To develop employee engagement, particularly in regards to changes in safety regulations, therefore dramatically decreasing the amount of accidents within 12 months. Irishman (2011, p. 32) states that all strategies should be ‘SMART' (Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic and Time relevant). This strategy is specific as it is outlines the main area where employee engagement is required, East Cost staff need to be interested in safety issues to ensure best practice is achieved. The amount of accidents is recorded and therefore the strategy is measurable, it will look at any changes that have occurred over the 12 month period.The strategy is agreed upon as it is related to a corporate objective and so it something that the whole organization is working towards. It is realistic as there are no tangible barriers; internal communicators have access to every member of staff to ensure the message reaches them all. The strategy is time relevant as a 12 month time guide is given. 2. To ensuring all internal corporate communications is company-wide and therefore meeting the East Coast social identity and removing the feeling of territory.This strategy aims to increases the social identity within East Coast. Information provided by Module Partner (2011) found that different depots all have their own social identity, and communication between different depots is limited. Seaports (1989, up. 20-39) explains that socia l identity is vital to ensure all staff feel part of the team. Currently different depots at East Coast receive their internal communication at different times, by unifying these and creating company-wide internal corporate miscommunication this will increase the sense of social identity. . Promote awareness of the ‘EUREKA' changes recently undertaken by East Coast, ensuring all staff understand and feel comfortable acting on the new service within six months, with feedback opportunities during and after the changes. This is SMART because it is specific to the new Eureka system that has recently been introduced at East Coast which involves a complete overhaul of the way the first class service is ran. The strategy is measurable as it states that there will be feedback opportunities to evaluate and measure the success of the communication.It is agreed upon as the EUREKA system NAS already Eden put Into place, tons strategy Is to ensure sat TTT are comfortable conducting the agr eed upon system. It is realistic as the internal corporate communication needed to fulfill this strategy will benefit the employees as it will assist them with implementing the new system. However it has proposed a change to the psychological contract, which, according to Welling (2007, p. 29) must be negotiated carefully to ensure staff does not feel they are not being asked to do more without receiving any compensation in return.The strategy is time relevant as it is even a six month guideline to have promoted the changes. Internal Corporate Communication Tactics Tactics used to implement these internal corporate communication strategies, and therefore achieve the internal corporate communication and corporate objectives, should consider Uses and Gratification Theory. Uses and Gratification theory is defined simply by Tenth and Yeoman's (2009, p. 225) as a theory focused on not what media do to audiences but what audience do with the media. It states that the audience use the medi a to meet their different needs, which can include to help fit in tit social groups (much like Social Identity Theory discussed previously), East Coast should aim to make their internal corporate communications a key part of the East Coast social identity. Possible tactics for East Coast to use to achieve their goals are detailed below. ; According to Media Richness Theory, face-to-face communication is the richest communication channel and so this should be the best practice to aim for.However, the style of the East Coast business means that employees work shifts, seven days a week and so it would not be appropriate to have a company-wide face- o-face meeting as it would disrupt normal service. However, as a strategy of this campaign is to reinforce social identity among employees, it would be hinder the aim to have different times for communication, especially as Fitzpatrick (2002, p. 60) says that a message should be available to all recipients simultaneously.Instead it is to be recommended that all staff are given an access code to an online Webbing' (an online seminar) to view a top company director outlining and discussing new changes in both safety and the EUREKA system, with comment thread available for staff to add their views and comment. This should then be followed up with smaller groups (maximum 50 people) being put together dependent on employees work schedule, ensuring that people from different depots are mixed in each group, and then holding more targeted sessions to go over these changes and discuss them in more detail.Currently staffs are told about meetings via a letter being put in their individual tray at their main train station, though discussions with the Module Partner (2011) found that these are often left unchecked for months at a time, and so it may be more efficient if staff email network was arranged to help implement all internal corporate communications. This would save time and cost and would ensure that all staff receives the message intended for them at the same time and makes other areas of internal communication simpler, therefore encouraging the East Coast social identity.In keeping with Media Features Theory also, it means that an efficient and easy to use communication channel is being used, email, as employees could access their emails from home. This should then be followed up with documents to reiterate the messages of the seminar and Webbing' and should also be discussed in the internal magazine. This help to fulfill the objectives and strategies laid out previously In tons report It takes people out IT tenet current social groups Walton ten organization and encourages them to mix with other members of staff.It helps employees feel confident in implementing the changes that have come with EUREKA and with the regularly updated safety regulations, therefore improving service and safety. This would set up a new format for internal corporate communication to be carried out, along with the internal magazine that is already in place. Internal Corporate Communication Evaluation Watson and Noble (2007, p. 39) detail the value of evaluation within planned communication, and say that it is important as it tells directors what is working and what is not, once again helping to cement communications as a management function.To evaluate this campaign, East Coast should ensure research is done before implementing the campaign to have a base to compare the results with. After the allotted time frame given in the strategy is complete final evaluation will have to be conducted (as well as continuous evaluation throughout to ensure any required changes are made). Feedback forms will be given to all employees to measure how nonevent people feel about the changes and to receive feedback on the communication in general so that any changes can be incorporated next time.The feedback forms should be multiple choice questions with room for comments also. This data can then be quantified to hopefu lly support the basis for the campaign. This should then be compared with research conducted at the start of the campaign to display any changes in opinion. Internal corporate communicators should also monitor the comments left on the webbing page and take into account any issues raised here. They should gather the information and monitor the opinion of the employees, which should be compared with the opinion research conducted at the beginning of the campaign.

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