The meeting left me with a very positive feeling; afterward I could not help but re-reading all of the contributions he has made to our publication since 2006. In this global and networked economy, an understanding and appreciation of internal communications in different countries such as India is a prerequisite for organisations to grow. Aniisu makes this very clear through his writing.
With these Marginalia on Engagement I would like to recall some of his articles available on simply-communicate. These are extracts on employee engagement, social media in the workplace, corporate social responsibility, international and leadership communications. I hope you will enjoy them, and encourage you to explore the author's work even further.
“Articulate the future clearly. There is always a sense of uneasiness when it comes to working with multi-nationals based on earlier experiences the country has faced. The ‘hire and fire’ methods employed by firms have been resented in a country where government-run units ensured security with pensions and union engagement. Questions are asked about the future in terms of the organization’s commitment and business stability. Companies need to articulate a vision and culture to keep the workforce motivated and energized. Be transparent and honest in your communication. There is no greater loss than an organization caught for hiding information from its own employees.”
“Each employee has unique talents and expertise and you can help harness it for the organization. By connecting experts and channeling a discussion, the time for information access is reduced dramatically. They say we are separated from each other by six degrees of separation. Make those six degrees closer than your employees can think.”
“If leaders don’t see value in social media or label it a ‘productivity buster’, employees understandably will stay away. Without a clear understanding of the medium, companies will continue to baulk at the idea of setting up discussion forums or allowing comments on blogs defeating the purpose of social media!”
The message is clear. To understand how social media can be adopted better, we need to revisit how communication is created and received by this important group.
“Social media adoption is exploding in India and the scale and diversity offer challenges as well as unique opportunities. To be able to adopt social media in internal communications, organizations need to appreciate and understand the influences of sports, entertainment, culture and community.”
“A Loud Auction run by senior leaders follows this program where the company bids for the most creative services or products. The funds collected from the winning bids are donated to charities Sapient engages with, including services that support education, underprivileged children, and those that build capacity and infrastructure in the communities Sapient serves.”
“In India, the tenure of CEOs and MDs has come down to 1-3 years. Their role is often examined closely and every action scanned. Apart from employees and the board they also need to gain the confidence of analysts, stock markets and the sales teams. Those organizations expanding globally also need to consider keeping leadership transitions smooth to avoid unnecessary media attention. Communicating in a timely and suitable manner can allow stakeholders to focus on the way forward.”
“Travel to the new offices, understand the framework in which they operate and how the connect with one another and the organization. Take the time to make this happen – the networks you build will be invaluable.
“Watch your language: while English is the de facto language of business, words, phrases and humor don’t always convey the same meaning in different countries. If it helps, you may want to create a simple guide for different business units. Remember to set guidelines for content, including social media.
“Meet with your network regularly to discuss issues around communications, engagement and collaboration. Encourage the sharing of ideas and best practices.
“Create an incentive to share ideas from different regions.”
Corporate social responsibility in India: Trends and implications for internal communications (2013)
“While organizations strive in India to make their CSR programming more inclusive, realistic and aligns with business goals they also can do a lot more to articulate their purpose better, engage employees through communications and report progress and impact more. I believe the opportunities to do greater good exists. Organizations need to be more mindful of their investments, be transparent, build platforms for employees and stakeholders to engage more and conduct sustainable campaigns that deliver long term results.”
Aniisu is author of the book Internal Communications: Insights, practices and models, and blogs at Intraspoke – Internal communication viewpoint from India.