How creativity impacts internal communication

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How creativity impacts internal communication

Communicators say some of the most common barriers to creative working practices are opposition from leadership, time constraints and budgetary issues. Plus face-to-face communication offers the highest opportunity to enhance creativity.

Does this ring true for you?

EngagementA report has just been released highlighting 93% of comms pros acknowledge the importance of creativity in internal comms but only 6% think it’s being used to its full potential.

The Creativity in Internal Communications report from the lovely people at Alive With Ideas shares the results of a survey into creativity levels in the workplace and acts as a practical tool for internal communicators and HR pros.

It focuses on key sections including channels, digital, workplace environment and collaborative working and reveals creativity “helps demonstrate to employees that they are valued as highly as external customers.” Nice.

The agency says that: “Never before has it been clearer that creativity has a significant influence on business performance. And it’s now widely accepted that employees with greater scope to be creative at work are more productive, loyal and engaged than their inhibited counterparts.” (Tweet this)

Here Alan Oram, Director at Alive With Ideas @Alivewithideas, writes for my blog to bring us up to speed on their findings and what it means for communicators.

I love hearing examples of how people are being creative with their internal communication. If you have a story to share with other communicators and would like to write a guest article, do please see my guidelines and get in touch.

I’ve tried all sorts of techniques over the years to inject creativity into my internal comms, I remember creating a safety campaign around asbestos while working in-house for the Underground railway network in London. Sounds dull huh? Essential though. I managed to find a way to link it all to the Wizard of Oz… ask me if you see me and I’ll tell you about it.

Over to you Alan…

Injecting creativity into internal communication

Our survey received 160 responses from communicators spanning industries ranging from food and drink, charities, local authorities, department stores, financial providers, police forces, marketing companies, travel agencies, accountants, retailers and government agencies.

BusinessgoalsIt was predominately in the UK but stretching beyond, we had responses from the rest of Europe, America, New Zealand and more. It took place in August/September 2014.

What’s top of the list?

With innovation and creativity featuring at the top of the list as key leadership skills, we decided to investigate the challenges that exist and the opportunities available to prompt increased levels of creativity within comms and engagement.

We’ve also collated thoughts, quotes, opinions and advice from industry leaders about how they see creativity in internal comms and how they feel it could be developed.

We’re proud advocates of creativity although we understand the restrictions that exist when trying to incorporate more creative approaches into busy working practices. We also see the outstanding differences that are made when imagination is sparked and people try something a little different.

Essentially we wanted to create a thought-provoking report that would include opinions of industry leaders and practical tips and advice too, obviously presented in a highly creative way. We want communicators to feel empowered to go forth and create! (Contact Alan via his email below to get a copy of the whole report – Rachel).

So what does the survey reveal?

f2fcommsHighlights from the survey include:

  • 93% acknowledge the importance of creativity in internal comms
  • 81% say that this is reflected in the way they approach a communication/engagement strategy
  • 90% feel that collaborative working across the organisation would support creative thinking
  • Creativity helps demonstrate to employees that they are valued as highly as external customers (Tweet this)
  • Face-to-face communication offers the highest opportunity to enhance creativity (Tweet this)
  • Creativity can help to bridge the gap between external and internal comms
  • 10% of respondents link creativity to business goals
  • The ‘we’ve always done it that way’ brigade continues to restrict creative thinking
  • Only 6% felt that environment was being used to its full potential in terms of comms and engagement

Key trends towards more creative working 

creativeThe survey reveals that:

  • 50% currently use an enterprise social network (ESN), most recognise its potential and plan to increase creative usage in the future
  • 69% of internal communicators who completed the survey use video but half of these admit it is only to a very basic level. There is a strong desire to incorporate video in a much more creative way.
  • Of the 20% using gamification, half plan to work on incorporating further usage into comms strategies
  • Many respondents unite over common barriers to creative working practices including opposition from leadership, time constraints and budgetary issues
  • A number of respondents report a ‘skills shortage’ in terms of a lack of individuals with sufficient knowledge of creativity tools and methodologies.

If you want to read more, a hard copy of the report is now available upon request from me directly – alan@alivewithideas.com.

Post author: Alan Oram.

What do you think of these findings? Do they tally with your experience? I couldn’t agree more with the opportunities face-to-face communication provide to stimulate creativity. Very hard to have a brainstorming session without being face-to-face. Not impossible, but I’ve definitely found it’s smoother when people are in the same room.

I love the way the information has been presented and the look and feel of the infographic. I was fortunate enough to receive a hardcopy in person before Christmas and it’s well worth a read.

I’ve posted the infographic of results below and you can also see it via my Pinterest board for internal communication.

Further reading on my blog: How to use Pinterest for internal communication.

Find your next comms role

Don’t forget to see my jobs page to search the latest vacancies in the comms community and how to place a job ad page to discover how to place yours.

Thank you as ever for stopping by,

Rachel

First published on All Things IC blog 28 January 2015.

 

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