What’s your top tip for year-end internal communication?
What do you always do, or always avoid?
I posed these questions to the global internal communication community via LinkedIn. Thank you to everyone who responded, you can see their answers below.
I hope you find them useful as you get your plans in place over the next few weeks. Do add your own suggestions via the comments.
Are you setting your professional goals for 2023? I’ll be publishing an article on how to do that soon.
How to review and plan internal communication course
If you’re in review and planning mode right now (who isn’t?!), our popular Online Masterclass How to review and plan your internal communication will help you look back and plan forward for 2023. This self-study course is available to enrol in and start today. Your investment is £499, see the Online Masterclasses website to sign up.
Sign up for a 90-minute planning course
Our remote 2023 Planning Masterclasses have sold out. We kept adding new dates and all three December sessions are now fully booked. So we’ve added an additional date on 10 January 2023 at 1pm UK time.
Be quick as places won’t last long. Your investment is £129 +VAT and it’s hosted by my colleague Caroline Cubbon-King via Teams.
If you’d prefer us to run a session for your team or are outside the UK and need a payment link, do get in touch.
How to communicate the end of 2022
I asked my colleagues to share their advice too.
Caroline says: “2022 has been a year of defining new ways of working and continuing to navigate ambiguity and uncertainty. Reflect on what you have learned as a practitioner, as a team and an organisation and weave that into your end of year comms messages and celebrations. Your approach should be appropriate and humble. A heartfelt thank you and a sprinkle of kindness should end the year on the right note” – Caroline Cubbon-King, Communication Consultant, All Things IC.
Dan says: “There is an opportunity to provide a balanced reflection on the year. 2022 has been especially challenging for many organisations, so leaders can acknowledge the journey everyone has been on and celebrate achievements. I always try and roll the comms into the first week of January as it can be very easy for people come back to work and feel as though ‘it’s back into everything’ and the feeling of being refreshed from the holidays passes by.
“I’m also mindful that for some organisations, December doesn’t always mean the end of the year, as it might align with a financial year instead. If this is the case, you can use December as the month to remind colleagues of the importance of looking after themselves and supporting each other. We all have different home circumstances, so showing consideration to those colleagues who perhaps don’t have many celebrations planned can help them” – Dan Holden, Communication Consultant, All Things IC.
“A big fat thank you, a bit of fun and key dates to know for the new calendar year” – Lucy Burden, Communications Lead, Clearsprings Ready Homes.
“Thank people for their efforts this year and what they’ve achieved; encourage people to take advantage of the break and enjoy it how they will; acknowledge those who may be working through on essential services or contracts; point to help for those who find it a difficult or lonely time” – Richard Howat, Communications Business Partner UK & Nordics, OTIS.
“Absolutely agree Richard – those are all the things that are important for us to cover, especially recognising those who deliver our frontline services throughout” – Kate Nowowiecki, Engagement Development Manager, Kent County Council.
“All of my thoughts well covered by everyone else in this thread – which is nice to see. 1. Keep it light. 2. Make it fun. 3. Celebrate success (what was achieved in Q1 feels a long time ago!), and thank everyone for their efforts” – Glen Stubbings, Medline Australia.
“One of my favourite things is to utilise the holiday to humanise your leaders! Get creative in their messaging and work with them to be as authentic as possible. Recognise the hard work of employees and encourage them to recharge of the holidays but do it in a way that is unique, yet complimentary of typical communication style” – Paige Coates, Global Director of Communications, Inteva Products.
“It is a great opportunity for senior leaders to show their human side, and if you can have a bit of fun with it – all the better!” – Tora Millward, Head of Internal Communication at Aspris.
“Authentic, appreciative and if appropriate, fun (I couldn’t think of another A!)” – Cathy Power, Global Internal Communications Manager, Global and Experian IT Services.
“Number one for me is always the thank you. My other golden rule is keep it light in terms of messaging – there are other opportunities to talk about the numbers/challenges/forecasts. This is the time to get across warmth, authenticity, personality and a bit of fun” –
The overarching tone of any year- end internal communication should always reflect appreciation and introspection. Appreciating all employees for all their hard work during the year and looking back, looking ahead to all milestones recorded during the year and an insight regarding what to expect in the new year – Ife Elegbede, Communications Specialist, Coronation Merchant Bank.
“For me, it’s a point of reflection. A chance to stand still for a minute and look back – what has been achieved, difficulties that have been overcome and acknowledging colleagues’ contributions. It’s easy to constantly look to the next thing but I think this appreciation of the past is important for fostering colleagues’ understanding of how they’ve contributed to the greater organisational goals. As well as creating a clean platform in January to start messaging around the vision for the year ahead. Although completely agree with you Claire Openshaw that it’s not the time for numbers or heavy detail! Always avoid assuming that the holiday season looks the same for everyone” – Kelsey Farrell, Senior Internal Communications Specialist, Advanced.
“For me the most important thing is to thank everyone for all of their hard work. This is closely followed by the opportunity to celebrate what’s been achieved. I often like to use video for this as it’s a great way to make an emotional connection and instil a sense of pride. As well as a chance to reflect, I also like to give a small nod to the future and create some excitement for the year to come. Finally, a chance to remind everyone to take a break” – Rhianne Sarna, Head of Internal Communications, Colt Technology Services.
I echo so many of the comments the IC community has kindly shared. The main one for me is gratitude for your employees and all the efforts and energies they have put into the year.
Recognising some people don’t celebrate Christmas or have it at another time of year (some Ukrainians will mark it on 7 January for example), is important. Be mindful of appropriateness of language, imagery and celebrations.
If you’re looking for further reading, I’ve written various blog posts over the past 13 years to help you along these lines, I’ll share some below.
I hope you get a chance to down tools at some point over the next month or so. I know there is rarely a quiet time of year for internal communicators!
Further reading via the All Things IC blog
- How to write an annual report
- How to create a successful end of year meeting
- IoIC Future of Work 2023 priorities report – contains key themes for the year ahead.
- Comms pros reveal top tips for Christmas Comms – published 2017
- What’s top of mind for Comms pros in 2022
Best of luck with your end of 2022 internal communication. If you have a story to share or a campaign you’re proud of, why not check out our guest article guidelines?
I love featuring in-house internal communicators sharing their stories with peers. If one of your goals for the year ahead is to be featured on the All Things IC blog, why not consider getting involved?
You could answer the questions in our Candid Conversations series or write a guest article.
Thank you for stopping by,
Post author: Rachel Miller
First published on the All Things IC blog 2 December 2022.