Employee Comms

Agile Internal Communication in Rolls-Royce


 — November 5th, 2015

Agile Internal Communication in Rolls-Royce

Last week I attended the annual Melcrum Summit in London UK, it was the fourth year that Newsweaver sponsored the Summit, and as always it was an inspiring event which had us heading back to work with key takeaways and a strong focus on the purpose of what we do.

We were thrilled to have a customer speaking at the event this year. Clare Clark, Head of Channel and Content with Rolls-Royce brought delegates through the IC journey she and her team have been on and shared details of their next steps, in her presentation "Rethinking the role of technology in powering a more agile Internal Communication function; The Rolls-Royce Story".

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Not to be confused with the car manufacturer, Rolls-Royce are responsible for the development, manufacturing and servicing of integrated power systems for use in the air, on land and at sea. They have 55,000 employees globally with 39% of the workforce being direct employees, 33% making up their engineering sector and 28% indirect employees.

The first purpose of Clare’s team is to engage and embed the business values amongst their employees. They look to do this through the technologies they use, the culture they evoke and via their leaders.

Rolls-Royce adopted a three pronged approach towards their internal communications strategy:

  1. Engage – ensure employees are motivated to work, and have a rational and emotional connection with the workplace. They achieve this through their leadership communications.
  2. Energize – ensure employees physical, interpersonal and emotional well-being is a positive experience. They achieve this through the culture of the organization which is facilitated through their collaborative channels.
  3. Enable – ensure employees can carry out what is needed to be done in an easy and productive manner. They achieve this via the technologies they use such as their intranet.

Recently Clare’s team have looked to focus their attentions on two main elements; Collaboration and Cascade.

They want to facilitate collaboration across their digital channels so that employees are more involved and committed, and ultimately more engaged. They use channels such as their innovation portal and Yammer network to encourage employees to start conversations with their peers and also with managers.

Their aim with cascading information is to ensure that employees understand and are aware of important and relevant messages. This is done via their employee newsletters, digital signage and videos.

Along with having focused strategies on collaboration and cascading as individual elements, Rolls-Royce want to make sure that the two elements will work together. Features such as commenting and liking on their newsletter articles support collaboration via a cascade channel.

The second purpose of the Internal Communication team is to embed the business focus into the philosophy of the Internal Communication function. Clare intends to do that by evaluating the channels they currently use and make them integrated and more effective – starting with a revamp of their intranet and having it as their main hub for information.

Clare really demonstrated the need to define and understand the purpose of the Internal Communication function and she showed how they are continuously improving the channels and technologies that they use to engage with their employees.

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