What a month! November has been a busy one with the CIPR Inside Conference, Putting Employees First, which I was lucky enough to attend (and speak at), attending and supporting Nick Crawford from Engage Group at an IOIC London event on how to launch Enterprise Social Networks (ESN) and then only this week I attended the IOIC 30 under 30 event, also hosted in London.

I have scribbled notes on everything and rather than post multiple blogs on each event I have combined them all into one here, with key learnings, top tips and some congratulations to my fellow 30 under 30’s!

Putting Employees First

It’s a great statement but what does it actually mean? When we talk about putting employees at the heart of the business how do we do that and what should be doing in the future to secure an engaged audience. This was the topic for my first CIPR Inside event hosted at the Oval in London on 7th November. Chaired by the delightful Kevin Ruck, the event saw 12 speakers from across the globe take to the stage to share insights and ideas about how we can all engage our teams a little better and how we can use social media to do so.

The future, what does it look like?

There were some bleak answers to Max McKeown’s question about the future but we got there in the end. Opportunity is the word that sprang to my mind and one we should really focus on when we think about what is ahead. Max’s presentation involved lots of great images and writing on the white board that was the set, here are some of the my highlights:

  • You’ll never find the right idea if you never let go of the wrong idea
  • There are different types of people inside your organisation. Identify the mavericks and the yes men and work with them through times of change – they all come into their own in different ways

It’s time to be brave with social

I think most of us at the event understood the very loud and clear call for us to be brave. We have talked and talked about doing social inside an organisation and whilst it is clear there is still a long way to go, we need to start doing something!

Rachel Miller did a great session on social following her role in the collaborative book  Share This  which launched earlier this year by CIPR. Rachel did a survey pre-conference about how internal comms pros use social media and shared all the results with us during her 20 minute slot.  To view all the results, check out Rachel’s blog.

Alignment or Engagement?

There was an interesting session on the Alignment Factor from the Reputation Institute which went into some detail and science around aligning employees to the business message and strategy. I’m not sure alignment is the right word and would probably link this more to just engagement (alignment feels a bit militant).

Spencer Fox outlined some key phases to ensure engagement (alignment) in your organisation:

  1. Know before you go: What are you trying to achieve and why
  2. Revealing support and resistance: find your influencers and blockers and work with them
  3. Action plan: initiatives and comms plans
  4. Tracking progress: KPI measurement and making sure you have some success factors

8 Top Tips for Fast Tracking Employee Engagement

This was my topic on the day so here are the 8 tips I shared with the audience:

  1. Have fun. It’s not always about engaging people with an initiative, do an Easter Egg hunt in the office just because it makes people smile
  2. Take people with you. Whatever you are trying to do, take them with you every step of the way
  3. Be the expert. We talk about leaders not understanding social etc. but we need to be experts in our field to advise and be trusted
  4. Talk their language at every level. Know your audience in a meeting and talk to them in terms they use and talk about their expertise
  5. Face to face is best. To engage people, to get their trust you need to see body language and hear tone of voice and get some face time with those in the business. Social can only do so much
  6. Integrate new channels into a mix and make sure you have a strategy. Bringing random new tools in because you think you should won’t engage your teams. They need to know what tool is for what and why
  7. Network inside and out. CIPR Inside events are brilliant for sharing ideas but make sure you take the time to network inside your organisation as well
  8. Why. The main part of my section talked about Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle theory and that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Tell people why you do what you do.

Getting Started with Enterprise Social Networks

Hosted by IOIC London and organised by Joe O’shea this event saw internal comms pros from across London come together for an evening of wine, nibbles and chatter about how we launch these sorts of tools in our business.

The team at Speak Media wrote a great blog to capture the event and as I co-presented with Nick I’ll let them tell you what people took away from it.

One thing I found fascinating? I asked everyone to stand up and those that use Twitter to stay standing. Most of them did which surprised me… I then asked those that hadn’t tweeted in the last month to sit down and most of the audience did. How can we say we use something if we don’t use it regularly? And how can we expect our employees to engage in social tools when still so many people don’t outside of the workplace….

IOIC 30 under 30

The 30 under 30 are the exceptional group and the future leaders of the industry according to host Steve Doswell. I was delighted to be honoured with being on the list and congratulate everyone else that was there on the night:

Andy Bacon (E.ON UK)
Ellie Bringes (AXA Wealth)
Mathew Butler (Make It Media)
Hannah Brocklesby (Scarlett Abbott)
Neil Burgess (RWE nPower)
Sophia Cheng (Simply Communicate)
Alan Coates (44 Communications)
Caroline Cohen (Blue Goose)
Katie Coleman (The Co-operative)
Caroline Dawson (National Grid)
Rhona Deb (Capita Life & Pensions)
Alistair Dewar (Lloyds Banking Group)
Helen Deverell (Sequel Group)
Oliver Forrester (CW Content Works)
Heather Griffiths (Gatwick Airport)
Ben Heppenstall (Trinity Mirror Regionals)
Sophie Hewitt (Capita Life & Pensions)
Sarah Hodges (Ernst & Young)
Laura James (Peverel Property Management)
Rebecca Mercer (Turning Point)
Gary Moss (AB Comms)
Sophie Quartley (Aster Group)
Chloe Shanahan (AVEVA Solutions)
Victoria Stuart (Post Office Ltd)
Vija Valentukonyte (Barclays)
Harry Waddle (University of Nottingham)
Alice Waterman (Marston Group)
Fraser Wilson (University of Nottingham)
Emma Woodward (Siemens)

So what will December hold? Don’t forget to check out The IC Crowd and you may have already seen we are organising Christmas drinks on 11th December at a venue to be announced shortly!