I’m so pleased to have completed this year’s CIPR CPD programme – almost three months ahead of the deadline!
After the best part of a year of CPD activities, focusing on my career and developing my internal communications and employee engagement skills, it seems a good time to recap on some of the key things I’ve learned:
- We need to be positioning internal communications and employee engagement as strategic functions, as vital to the smooth running of our organisations as finance or HR. By speaking the language of the organisation, we can align our activities with the business’ strategic priorities, and with those of senior leaders. But, to do this, we must have a seat at the table. The impact of our work must be visible to those leaders so they value the functions and bring us into that inner circle.
- Shout when something works! Goodness knows there are enough people who complain when it doesn’t, so when you or your team achieves something brilliant, make sure leaders and colleagues know about it
- Think about internal communications from all directions in your organisation – downwards, upwards, and horizontally. These should all align to give a sense of the organisation’s identity. If you understand your stakeholders and audiences, your communications and engagement will succeed. What makes your people tick?
- Measure, measure, and measure again. Internal communications is NOT the fluffy stuff around the periphery – it is vital to successful organisations. We have to show this. It’s not enough to say how important internal communications is and then to shut up, we can demonstrate the real impact we have on the business. What have your campaigns achieved this year? You know those narratives we keep talking about? Use them when you’re describing your own work and those metrics – paint the picture of what your work has achieved, and where the company would be without this.
- Speaking of which, spend time crafting the organisational narrative with senior leaders. You want to paint a picture of the organisation, its work, its people, and values. A narrative lends personality and identity to a faceless organisation. It gives your people something to relate to and engage with.
- Be a #commsrebel. Ask the difficult questions. Make an impact. Back it up with evidence. Challenge the status quo.
This now means that I’m back to being an accredited practitioner (as I’ve completed two years’ CPD in a row). Hooray for me. But why does this matter to me?
According to the CIPR:
“Accredited PR Practitioner is a hallmark of your commitment to professional excellence. It shows that you are committed to keeping your professional skills and knowledge up-to-date and continually developing and broadening your horizons.”
This is all good stuff. I’d also add that having a structured CPD programme, which is specifically focused on internal communications, is incredibly valuable. I’ve learned loads, not only from undertaking the various CPD activities, but from the people I’ve met in the course of achieving these.
Of course, learning is only as good as the extent to which you put it into practice…
What next? Well, I’m already thinking about my goals for the next CPD cycle and what I want to learn next year.