AB Thinks  →  30th May 2019

Five tips from the sharp end

AB Thinks

In the final episode of season one of the Internal Comms Podcast, AB MD Katie Macaulay travelled to Bath for IoIC Live 2019 to chat to two of the conference’s speakers, Martin Fitzpatrick and Matt Batten.

Martin, internal communications and engagement business partner at B&Q, gave his advice for engaging an older workforce, while Matt, a self-confessed ‘comms nerd’, then at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), talked about the role of IC in promoting the wellbeing agenda.

Here are our top five takeaways from the lively discussion.

#1 There’s nothing more important to a business than people

“Engaged colleagues give a better [customer] experience and that gives you better profitability and revenue. That’s just a fact.” – Martin

“We have to look after our people to ensure they’re delivering a great service on behalf of our members and contributing to our success. It’s the right thing to do as well; they are people and they have emotions.” – Matt

#2 Internal comms must make a connection between wellbeing and strategy

“In everything we do with our wellbeing programme, it’s about our mission. [If] it’s fundraising for RCN Foundation, our charity which supports nurses in need, [and] we’ve raised money for a nurse who has been off work sick or got sacked and needs help, there’s a story there. And the people in our internal comms team are the ones that link those activities to our absolute mission and values as an organisation.” – Matt

#3 The benefits of flexible working are huge

“If there is one thing organisations can do to improve wellbeing or flexible working, make it happen. People don’t have to travel for meetings so we’ve cut our costs, and we can recruit the best person in Edinburgh or Northern Ireland. It’s helped us be a better business.” – Matt

“The ability to shape job roles and be flexible has become more critical to businesses. If you can embrace that, it will definitely help businesses be more successful, recruit better people and retain them for longer.” – Martin

#4 Ignore the older generation at your peril

“There’s a need to start to think about the employee and customer experiences we’re creating. Are they fit for everybody? Do they reach across the generations? Because people are not necessarily retiring at 65 now. There’s a significant growth in second and third careers and we need to face up to that. Those who do will be successful, and those who don’t will be left behind.” – Martin

#5 Digital technology isn’t just for the young

“There’s a bit of a misnomer that older people can’t understand digital – they don’t get it, so you should ignore them or mop them up at the end. But most of these workers went through the most significant shift since the industrial revolution: the introduction of IT into the workplace. They lived that entire journey and have done more digital change in their careers than most of us will ever do again.” – Martin