Overhauling internal comms to empower employees
How do you shift a global organisation’s approach to communicating risk? Long-term culture change requires long-term vision. AustralianSuper reached out to Avion to build just that.
AustralianSuper needed help turning complex ideas into simple actions for employees. A multi-year research program identified opportunities to enhance how the organisation educated and engaged employees on their responsibilities to reduce risk. Avion was brought on to help shape and execute a tailored communications strategy to support this goal.
With our help creating a new communications and channels strategy, while also helping to refresh its content plan, AustralianSuper immediately saw improved internal engagement and noticeable increases in reported trust between peers. Post-project research identified a heightened awareness amongst employees about risk and how it related to their roles.
Setting a foundation for success
We first worked with senior risk stakeholders to audit all touch points and channels used by the communications team for engaging with stakeholder groups and within their own team. This created a solid foundation to identify what was working well and where there were opportunities to enhance engagement.
Enterprise-level risk is a highly complex area to manage, with department-level nuance that makes it especially hard to create organisation-wide communications strategies. As part of our audit, it was important to differentiate the high volume of internal reporting channels required by the communications team, giving them a bird's-eye view of the full landscape they needed to cover when it came to creating purposeful employee communications.
For leaders, this approach embodied three key elements:
Transparent and accessible insights and information
Consistent, simple and clear internal communications
AustralianSuper looked to us to provide an outsider's view of what needed to be done to achieve those goals. Working with senior stakeholders who were highly specialised in risk management frameworks and practices, Avion was able to navigate the complexities of the organisation's risk profile and distil these into navigable approaches for employee engagement. Senior stakeholders were equipped with the tools to leverage their strengths and establish digital and face-to-face channels to foster authentic communication.
Creating change from both directions
Trust is critical in communications and a strong focus of the strategy included building the communications capacities from not just leadership but their teams, aware of how important it is to have organisation-wide committment and understanding to a strategy for it to succeed . For leaders that embodied three key elements.
Internal communications requires a different approach than with customer-facing projects. The scale of interweaving and unique considerations across an enterprise organisation demands an approach that understands one thing: change enjoys long-term success only when it is driven from both the top and the bottom. This understanding was key to the successful rollout of the new risk communications strategy.
Rebecca Smith - Communications Specialist, Avion
Next up was a strategy that understood the needs of employees organisation-wide to meet the shifting strategies taking place by leadership. To achieve this, we needed to foster stronger internal relationships amongst colleagues involved in risk and compliance roles across the organisation.
Along with establishing new face-to-face forums, we helped lead the development of a SharePoint hub that was critical to support collaboration.
The hub provided tailored and up-to-date information for risk and compliance professionals across the organisation. To complement this, Avion led a review to refresh intranet content to complement a number of risk initiatives and campaigns.
A measurable outcome
Once you've set everything up to achieve real change in the long-term, you need the tools and intent to measure the outcome.
As part of our six-month project to refresh content and channels to complement a number of risk initiatives and campaigns, we worked with senior stakeholders to set communications metrics. These were linked to business outcomes for the new communications strategy, which included a refreshed channels strategy and content plan. This made it easy to maintain a clear vision of key performance indicators for the strategy and measure the effectiveness of individual campaigns to support further iterations.