Presenting the 53rd edition of Intraskope’s Spotlight on Internal Communication Series featuring Rajiv Arora of OYO Hotels & Homes. An integrated communications professional and an ex-journalist, Rajiv has established, streamlined internal communications & driven corporate reputation effort for organizations such as GE, Aricent an KPMG. The winner of the 2020 Exchange4Media 40 Under 40 award, he has a breadth of experience in leadership positioning, reputation management, employee value proposition & employer branding, corporate reputation, crises management, and content management.
In this interview, Rajiv shares why passion for internal communications is important for the success of professionals leading the function. He discusses how can communicators make a mark in this evolving domain. Also, what role internal communications plays in impacting corporate reputation.
Watch the complete video interview on YouTube or read the transcript below.
1. What does internal communication mean to you?
Internal Communication oils the wheels of a trusted, transparent & loved workplace
2. How is it practiced in your organization?
Internal Communications @ OYO is guided by principles such as 1) ‘Employee First’ approach to all communications 2) ‘One OYO, One Voice’ for consistency across regions, countries and audience 3) All-encompassing approach of executive comms, organizational comms and employee voices
3. Please share an example/campaign that you are personally proud of working on and that made a significant impact to an organization in the recent past
We feature high-performing employees in a series called OYOpreneurs Spotlight. It’s a creatively designed emailer that highlights the professional & personal journeys of employees and their likes and dislikes in a fun Q&A format. It quickly became a hit among employees; it’s a prestigious forum now to be featured on; and, it’s one idea that has been replicated by almost every OYO region in some form or the other.
4. What is the biggest challenge you face while going about managing internal communication?
Changing the perception on how internal communications is a strategic function and its value extends beyond the emails and town halls that one sees!
5. What according to you is the biggest opportunity that internal communicators have?
Internal communicators have the unique advantage of bringing in an ‘inside out’ as well as ‘outside in’ perspective to reputation management. As communication lines blur today, the culture of an organization can impacts the external reputation and vice versa.
6. How can internal communicators add more value to the business?
By partnering with different internal stakeholders, Internal Communicators have the power to instill pride, belonging, respect and love for the brand among employees. They are a key stakeholder in shaping the organizational culture. And a happy workplace is a productive workplace.
7. What skills must they have or develop?
1) They must have a passion for IC 2) They must view everything from a dual lens of what’s right for the company and what’s right for its people 3) They must be good with strategy and execution. One cannot work without the other 4) They should be able to build a good rapport with different kinds of people 5) They must be good at listening and even better at expressing
8. What is your advice for people who are keen to join internal communication and make a career?
If you have the passion to do IC, then that’s 50% of the job done
9. With COVID-19 and other crises, how must internal communications engage? What has changed or will change? Examples of how your organization has helped reassure employees and navigate the crisis as it unfolds.
It has reinforced the value of timely, authentic and accurate communications. We made sure that employees were getting all the relevant information without asking for it. Leader connects increased and we tried to share even the most difficult news with empathy and respect.
10. Can you share one trend that you spot with internal communications?
The increasing role of Internal Communicators as trusted advisors to leaders
11. If there is one aspect of internal communications you would like to change, what would that be?
The perception that it’s not as sexy as external communications!
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Keen to contribute and participate in the ongoing series on Intraskope where we put the spotlight on thought leadership, great ideas, and practical solutions?
Look up the previous stories from organizations featured on the Intraskope’s Spotlight on Internal Communication Series here – Northern Trust, AXA Business Services, Subex, global insurer, Standard Chartered Bank, BASF, Applied Materials India, Microsoft UK, Times Group, Samsung, Falabella, Cisco, Brillio, UAE Exchange, Apeland, M.H. Alshaya Co, Proctor & Gamble, Infosys, SOBHA Ltd., ICICI Securities, First Advantage, CK Birla Group, TVS Motors, GE, Suzlon, Tata Sons, Percept, Knight Frank, TCS Europe, Vedanta, Oxfam, Danske Bank, Diageo, Pandora, Symantec, ISS Global Services, Telia, Thomson Reuters, IBM, General Motors, Intelligence India Software Solutions, Philips, Refinitiv, Mastercard, VFS Global, Ittiam Systems, Bridgestone India, Indian automotive company, Uber, L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Limited, Microsoft India and Hitachi Rail.
Intraskope (www.aniisu.com) is the first blog on internal communications in India and among the earliest around the globe. Begun in 2006, the blog has over 1000 posts on topics such as employee engagement, leadership communication and employee branding and receives thousands of visits from across the world. The blog, receives over 1,50,000 visits every month from over 50 countries globally, offers learning resources for practitioners, academicians, and students including industry workshops, research reports, and checklists.
Intraskope has been featured on leading global internal communication forums like Simply-Communicate, IC Kollectif and International Association of Business Communicators. It is hosted by Aniisu K Verghese, author of Internal Communications – Insights, Practices & Models (Sage, 2012).
If you are an internal communication leader working in a firm or a not-for-profit anywhere in the world and have an internal communication case study, campaign, research insight or a guest blog post to share please contact me on [email protected]
Here are Internal Communications resources you can use:
- Learn: Internal Communications Fundamentals Course on Thinkific
- Internal Communications Series: https://forms.gle/KcqmPzLwq7NQi5Km6
- Chat with Aniisu – Internal Communications: https://www.instamojo.com/intraskope/connect-with-aniisu-60-minute-personalized-d/?ref=store
- Internal Communications workshops: https://bit.ly/2zdBRl1
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