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19 junio 2024

The communication-action of ESG criteria through internal communication in SMEs

The Big Bang of communication

None of us can ignore the fact that now more than ever we are in the decade of ACTION. We have reached the halfway point of the 2030 Agenda, and its 17 goals are becoming increasingly necessary to achieve its fulfillment.
The communications departments of organizations are playing an increasingly important role in this task. The European Union is putting more and more pressure to have a corporate responsibility, to manage financial risk and, of course, reputational risk. The governance areas of SMEs are beginning to be aware of this, but employees, as well as society as a whole, must become more committed.

Employees are increasingly aware of the commitment of companies to ESG criteria, especially the new generation of employees. These criteria have a social part, which is related to the management and leadership of teams of the entities, as well as policies of equality, conciliation, diversity and inclusion, among others. These are the ones that have the greatest impact on the employee’s day-to-day life.

These social criteria become an employee engagement, a decision to choose the entities in which they want to work. We are in an era in which it is the employee who chooses the company, and not the other way around.

According to the PwC report, one in three employees who changed jobs in 2022 accepted lower salaries for working in more socially responsible companies. This commitment translates directly into the reputational communication criteria of organizations, and in order to do so successfully, the communication department and the human resources department must work hand in hand.

Knowing how to communicate it outwardly and inwardly is a fundamental task faced by the DIRCOM or the Communication Agency. This is no longer just a task for large companies.

In addition to communicating it externally, the great difficulty is to do it internally, since making known the commitment of an entity with sustainability has a direct impact on the vision that employees have of the company. This considerably improves the feeling of belonging.

We are aware that business management affects society and that it is a major driver of change. A committed CEO gives value to intangibles, knows how to integrate the company’s philosophy and culture, creates and strengthens his team and does so through good governance. To this end, being empathetic with the team, assuming that the 2030 Agenda is here to stay, being transparent when it comes to communicating and betting on the importance of an internal DIRCOM or an external communication agency is essential.

The DIRCOM is faced with the challenge that this commitment acquired by the CEO must be understood and perceived by employees, and the only way to do this successfully is to integrate it into the internal communication strategy of SMEs.
The internal communication plan has an impact on the people who work in the companies.
In my experience in internal communication, a good internal communication plan should have clear premises:

Have meetings with the stakeholders of the entity and know their perception. Incorporate in all internal communications the ESG actions implemented in the company. This will have a direct impact on the employee’s sense of belonging and internal customer loyalty.
Show the commitment of the CEO, who as a leader must publicly show his commitments to ESG criteria.

Open Omnichannel and above all Bidirectional CEO-EMPLOYEE communication Use effective internal communication platforms, conduct internal communication campaigns using events, magazines, direct marketing on the employee.

All companies should make a big effort to stop , stop to have a perspective on how they are approaching their communication actions. Just as they reflect on financial plans, digitalization, or any other issue. Companies should conduct a SWOT, with the opportunities, risks, threats and strengths of their internal communications. There is more and more external noise and DIRCOMs must take the internal temperatures of our organizations. Identify the internal prescribers, see what they can add or subtract. With this data, we will be ready to start implementing our internal communication-action plan: effective and sustainable over time.

It is not an easy task, especially in SMEs, where the DIRCOM usually combines this work with his head in the Marketing area. Being creative, betting on disruptive actions, making alliances with local media, betting on joining synergies and embracing the ODS 17 that of alliances is a big step to start walking in a good internal communication strategy. For this, my advice is that the DIRCOM should be integrated with the SMEs’ sustainability committee and should be one of the driving forces of the entities.

Teresa Berdie. Dircom ARPA

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