3Today, it is well recognised that no company, large or small, can expect to be ahigh performer in the long term without energised employees who believe in itsmission and understand the contribution their role will make in achieving success.Internal communications, also known as employee communications ororganisational communication, is a key contributor to the conversations that needto happen between managers and employees about the organisation’s strategy.Done well, internal communications helps employees to understand theorganisation’s vision, values, and culture. It may involve staff members in issuesthat affect working life and keep employees informed about key organisational/management decisions.Ideas Shop has been working with large and small organisations in New Zealandand Australia on internal communications and change management. Over thepast decade there have been enormous changes in the quality, channels andsophistication with which organisations have viewed and implemented theirinternal communications.To better understand the current state of internal communications practice in NewZealand, Ideas Shop invited internal communications practitioners from Aucklandand Wellington to talk about how the internal communications function operateswithin their organisation.A series of 52 qualitative interviews were conducted with key internalcommunications professionals and senior managers over the period March – June2008. The interviews were conducted both face-to-face and over the telephone
and ranged in length from ve to 35 minutes in duration.
Respondents came from a range of sectors including telecommunications and ICT,
central and local government, nancial services, primary production and health.
The majority of the organisations had staff of more than 1,000 and all had peoplespread throughout New Zealand. Some organisations were part of multinationalsor had an offshore presence.The key areas discussed were: leadership; strategy and planning; the internalcommunication function’s role; channel management; and impact measurement.We also canvassed practitioners on contemporary issues, including howstrongly internal communications are being used to assist in building employeeengagement, and cross-cultural communication practices.The results were compared with international research from Melcrum, TowersPerrin, IABC Research Foundation’s Best Practices in Employee Communication:
A Study of Global Challenges and Approaches
, and the work of Bill Quirke(Synopsis) and T. J. Larkin.This report provides a snapshot of how the internal communication discipline isoperating in New Zealand and a starting point for discussion among New Zealandpublic relations professionals about how we can improve.
The condentiality agreement between Ideas Shop and the interviewees mean that
neither the name of the respondents nor their organisations can be released. Thisanonymity was adopted to ensure the responses were frank and objective.