internal communicators: here’s your guide to employee engagement, zombie style


by Caroline Roodhouse

There’s been some spine tingly spooky goings-on down at Alive HQ as we’ve gathered together the latest stats, advice and best practice on all things employee engagement, and put it all together in this up-to-the-minute zombie tribute.

Peculiar irregularities…

According to widespread survey results across a stack of organisations, employee engagement rates are regularly coming in at 70% and above. That’s not to be sniffed at. BUT, the CIPD 2015 Employee Outlook Survey indicated that the employee engagement index within the UK is at just 39%. That’s quite a disparity. So what’s the score? Can we rely on survey results alone? The smart organisations are exploring alternative metrics, examining other areas of the business and considering the potential pitfalls when it comes to engagement surveys. And they’re well aware of what’s causing the problems too.

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survey results: your dull intranet is failing you

We carried out a survey on intranets with digital collaboration platform and social intranet provider Knowledge Hub. The findings are surprising and should alarm internal comms and those at the top of every organisation. People in 2015 want something different to what they are getting.

by Dan Slee

Too dull, too corporate and too uncollaborative… today’s intranet is too often failing today’s employees.

That’s the message from the comms2point0 / Knowledge Hub survey of almost 80 communications and PR workers.

Yet, the silver lining of the study is that employees are still crying out for a space that helps them work, collaborate and do their job more effectively. It’s just that many don’t have that.

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measuring experience and engagement with intranets

The Intranet Now event is on the horizon. It's an excellent event that seeks to celebate and showcase some of the best work in the field. As one of its organisers says, user experience is of growing importance. 

by Wedge Black and Brian Lamb

The clearest indicator of a successful intranet is that people can use it to get things done: finding a person; booking time off; checking a part number; reading the latest news. Can they do these things? How easily? What percentage of people trying to do them are successful? To discover these success indicators, you have to do some form of usability testing.

The ‘user experience’ is of growing importance as the workplace becomes more and more the digital workplace.

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the hidden secret to digital transformation

Every organisation is looking to transform what they are doing. There's a major role for good internal comms. Did you know?

by Kane Simms 

There’s one thing that’ll guarantee digital transformation success… and it’s not what you think.

It’s not the:

  • Digital design
  • Integration
  • User centricity
  • UX design
  • Data and analysis
  • Agile methodology
  • Lean processing
  • And so on

Long lasting digital transformation hinges, like everything else in life, on people. It depends on your staff.

Your staff have the service area expertise needed to design epic digital services and their enthusiasm and involvement is critical to solutions being adopted. Without your staff’s investment, you’ll be short-cutting back to old habits quicker than Paul Gascoigne leaving rehab.

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survey: how good and bad is your intranet?

How many times have you heard it? 'Our intranet?' the voice goes. 'It's rubbish. You can't find anything on it and there'a no social space to collaborate.' But just how good and bad are intranets? We've launched a new suurvey with our friends at Knowledge Hub. We need to fix it. But we need to know the size of the task.

by Dan Slee

Too stuffed with out-of-date information and too hard to find the things you really want.

The bad intranet serves as an albatross around the neck of the organisation. ‘We say we think staff are our greatest asset,’ it appears to say. ‘But we don’t really mean it.’

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survey: creative comms is alive

Can you help? Would you like to win a free afternoon of brainstorming thanks to a creative agency? You would? Brilliant! Have a read of this and fill in the survey.  

by Alan Oram

We’ve got a cunning plan. We’re creating a valuable, practical tool to help internal comms folk find smart and effective ways to get organisations across the land working more creatively by sharing top tips, key trends, practical advice and cracking ideas… And we’d like a little help from our friends to cross the finish line.

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everyone wants a virgin neil

We all know that employee engagement is important and can bring multiple benefits. But how many organisations really do it well? A recent visit to Virgin Trains opened the eyes of one comms professional.

by Natalie Corney

I was lucky enough to get an invite to the opening of the new First Class Lounge at Virgin Trains, Euston. I thought it would be rude not to turn up and there were canapés and cocktails in the offing.

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when brainstorming* goes bad...

We've all been there. The awkward moment when you're in a room full of strangers trying to think of new names for a pen as an icebreaker. But it needn't be like this. In fact, call them what you like creative brainstorming sessions can spark brilliant ideas. Here's how...


As a creative ideas agency, we’re on a mission to bust some creativity myths – we also happen to be big fans of the good old-fashioned brainstorming session, which remains a highly effective weapon in the internal communicator’s toolkit – approached in the right way, of course. 

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three things that make me cross

There really are some things that unite every comms person. In this post the chair of LGComms vents some spleen and raises a few things that will make more than a few nod in recognition.

by Cormac Smith

I love my work in local government.  Both in my day job as a senior communications advisor and in my national role of chairman of LGcommunications I get to work with some fantastic people doing work that I hope makes a real difference.

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10 things about internal comms and channel shift

Get involved, get involved, get involved. If your organisation is planning a big change or channel shift as a comms person get involved. But don't just think of the external message. Without question think internal comms first. At channelshiftcamp in Glasgow that came across really clearly.

by Dan Slee

Once upon a time there was a project to save millions and make life easy for customers.

It was great and looked terrific. "Of course it'll work," those that worked on it assured people. "It'll save us money and make it easier for people to do business with us."

Six months later on and the project didn't do a fraction of what it was supposed to do and got quietly closed down. 

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7 things I learned at the big yak

The Big Yak was an internal comms unconference staged by the IC Crowd who are lovely people. In this post, here's what one person learned and seven take-homes...

GUEST EDITOR by Corrinne Douglas

I set off for London and The Big Yak, an internal communications unconference with a mixture of excitement and a bit of apprehension. Over 100 comms pro’s coming together to discuss internal communications, most of them having never been to an unconference before, would we have enough to yak about?

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what volunteering at the olympics taught me about internal comms

One of the successes of the Olympics was the 70,000 volunteers that made the games fly. What was behind the success? Good internal comms - by as many channels as possible.

by Jo Smith

I was an Olympic volunteer – one of the poppy-and-purple Gamesmaker army who clapped and cajoled and pointed and smiled my way through shift after shift, question after question. And I loved every second.

Gamesmakers have been congratulated for their contribution to the success of the games but have you thought what kept them so chipper?

Lots of them were positioned on street corners and in railway stations, in offices or back-room locations, far from the glamour and the sporting endeavours. It wasn’t witnessing the action that kept them going, so what was it?

It’s no surprise, in my view, that keeping volunteers informed was key to keeping them motivated.

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the olympic opening ceremony, story telling and internal comms


Brilliant, wasn't it? It won over cynics and galvanised supporters. The 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony won over the nation. How can you have some of that to tell your story?

by Kate Hughes

I woke up as high as a kite after watching the epic, awesome Olympic opening ceremony. 

It was an extraordinary display; a great love letter to our country. For me the thing that really elevated it from spectacular to oh-my-god-so-bloody-uber-amazingly-spectacular was the rich storytelling.

Danny Boyle crafted a story that is familiar to us (about our modern history) but told it in such a beautiful way that you couldn't help but be captivated.

From the first scene change, the rolling green hills disappearing under the satanic mills of the industrial revolution, the audience could anticipate the story arc; but that only added to the sense of drama.

The tiny details - the poppies swaying in the breeze, the torch under the bed covers - contrasted with the big bang moments, enhancing the story further. 

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a brilliant internal comms case study

You know that line about staff are your greatest asset? Wouldn't it be great if you actually listened to them when shaping your internal comms? Someone here has...

by Stuart Mackintosh

We all love a bit of value, right? At Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, we love a bit of valuing, too.

The internal challenge was the most significant facing a new-look comms team installed in 2010.

We knew what we needed, that wasn’t rocket science – an army of well-informed and motivated advocates and ambassadors for an authority with plenty on its plate.

If you’ve not heard of us, we’re a borough of extraordinary contrasts up here on the North-East coast. We’re a genuine industrial powerhouse, from Europe’s deepest mine at Cleveland Potash to one of the largest deep sea ports in the UK, handling more than 40 million tonnes of cargo each year.

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