How do you define ‘a good job’? We all know it’s not necessarily about how much you’re paid even though excessive executive salaries and gender pay gaps can create discontent. And what will our work look like in years to come? Will artificial intelligence mean our jobs will be better or worse? How does employer brand enhance our perception of how good a job is, from recruitment stage right through to exit interview? These were just some of the topics aired at the IPA’s launch event of its new publication ‘Working Well: Perspectives on Good Work and why it matters’.

What’s the IPA?

The IPA (Involvement and Participation Association) is a not-for-profit organisation promoting the involvement and participation of employees in their places of work, and through doing so improve the quality of working lives.

Led by Nita Clarke, IPA’s Director, with delegates from the Public, Private and Academic sectors, a lively debate took place around the issues at play in improving our nation’s working lives. Insights were shared from a panel of speakers, each of whom had contributed their unique and valuable points in the IPAs newly launched publication. We heard about productivity in the workplace, employee voice and whether there is value in measuring how good a place of work is.

The power of great communication

Whilst this report offers such a wide spectrum of insights into what is right and wrong for today’s working community, I felt one area deserved a bit more focus. Communication.

Working with marketing and comms professionals every day of the week, I see first hand the power of great communication in the work place. Of course, the building blocks need to be put in place first – research undertaken, stakeholders consulted, strategies agreed, but in my view, the only thing that will then make organisations a great place to work is a considered communications plan.

And that means great communication at every level – making sure the strategic narrative is known and understood by everyone, working with leaders to support them in their alignment and making sure anyone at any level of the organisation is given the opportunity to give input and that their voices are being heard, and a strategic plan to increase employee engagement. It’s also about leaders making time to speak to their team – at more formal times such as during appraisals, as well as at the water cooler for a more casual ‘pat-on-the back’.

It’s worth saying also that so many organisations out there are great, but don’t always tell everyone they are. Issues can arise from the lack of a strong internal communications plan: valuable employee benefits may not be widely shared, myths or misconceptions may arise around decisions made in the boardroom.

A strong internal communications plan will make sure employee benefits are widely known, employees can help bust any myths or misconceptions about products and rumours around board decisions are unlikely to materialise.

So, if you’re communicating verbally, in writing or, in a more visual way through branded, creative communications, keep up the good work. It really does make a difference.

by Sarah Walker