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Before 2006, staff based in Leighton Contractors Western Region mainly relied on the media and the staff rumour mill for information about the company’s direction and performance. With no existing internal communications strategy or public relations staff in place the problem grew during a period of negative publicity and business restructuring that significantly reduced the company’s revenue base. In 2006 the newly appointed Communications Manager recognised that before rebuilding the company’s public profile, work was needed on its internal profile. After researching staff needs, a robust internal communications strategy was developed and implemented.
The program has exceeded its overarching goal with 72.3% of staff in 2009 reporting internal communications as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ rankings.
Now Leighton Contractors Western Region has gone from having no focus on communication to quadrupled investment in a proven and effective workplace communications strategy over the last four years, (spanning 2006 to 2010). The strategy showed that, by meeting the communication needs of employees, engagement rises and business performance improves.
In 2006, Leighton Contractors Western Region had to tackle serious staff morale and internal communications issues with no existing internal communications strategy or public relations staff in place. External pressure compounded the issue with WA gearing up for an unprecedented economic boom.
The newly appointed Communications Manager first assessed Leighton Contractors Western Region’s employee’s opinions on the company and internal communication issues. Tasked with improving the Western Region’s internal profile before tackling its public profile, the communications goal was to dramatically turn around employee satisfaction and engage staff with a new business direction, spanning new industry sectors. The goal was ambitious, given the disenfranchised, diverse and dispersed workforce ranging from contract labourers to management professionals in autonomous projects across WA. A significant investment in research commenced when the Communications Manager was appointed.
The Western Region’s workforce ranges from contract labourers to management professionals working across projects from the Northern Territory to WA’s South West. General Manager, Executive Management Team, Project Managers and their administrative staff were critical in championing internal communication.
A diverse mix of professional and administrative personnel as well as project teams bidding tenders before winning work and moving to site. The benchmarking survey identified a major project with a significant communications issue. Prior to 2006, Leighton Contractors Western Region did not have an internal communications strategy.

In developing the strategy significant consideration was given to overcoming the challenges of a diverse and segregated workforce in a demanding and talent-tight industry. The Communications Strategy for the Western Region is documented at the start of each financial year, adjusting to amendments in business direction. The effectiveness of focused internal communications, which listens to staff needs, is evident in this strategy. Process measures demonstrate tools and tactics are reaching the target demographics and they are high quality and appropriate. Several years after its humble beginnings, Leighton Contractors Western Region’s internal communication has become one of the company’s strengths.
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A few weeks ago, I facilitated a communications workshop for the Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF), a research program from the CGIAR, the global partnership of nonprofit agricultural research centers. We locked ourselves up for a week, to realign the organisation’s key communications messages and tools, and to integrate an online communications strategy, as a key component of a strategic communication approach. While this case study is, of course, geared to the work of CPWF, the process we followed can be used in many other cases.
The CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) kindly allowed me to use examples and extracts from our communications strategy workshop.
With a sincere thanks to the CPWF staff in the workshop: Alain Vidal, Amanda Harding, Tonya Schultz, Michael Victor and Ilse Pukinskis. Michael and Ilse also contributed large parts to this post and were crucial in the success of the workshop. For the time being, you can print it with one of the social icons at the bottom of the post, though. Yahoo PipesWP Cumulus Flash tag cloud by Roy Tanck and Luke Morton requires Flash Player 9 or better.
LegalThis blog expresses my personal opinions, and not those of my current or past employers.
Disengaged and dissatisfied, the dispersed workforce had low morale and little company loyalty.
Staff retention was a business priority, making strategic internal communications vital to boost morale and improve workplace desirability. Only a well executed internal communications program aligned to related strategic objectives was going to deliver the goal.

The internal communication strategy stems from this and objectives are translated into tools and tactics, scheduled across the year, within a certain budget. Evaluation data is analysed to identify what learning and strategy adjustments should be made.
At Ignition Branding, we prefer to get a better bead on the target before we pull the trigger. Too many times, executives get caught with their eyes so close to the canvas, they cannot see the big picture.
We understand that not all journeys follow the same path, so we are flexible enough to deviate when needed while remaining committed to the process in general. I published them in their raw format which doesn’t necessarily reflect the final and approved versions. For my easy of reading through, do you have like a pdf file of this content which I can print and read offline?
Flemish, aid worker, blogger, expeditioner, sailor, traveler, husband, father, friend, nutcase. Neither the service provider nor the domain owner maintain any relationship with the advertisers. Staff indicated a low understanding of the business direction, low morale an dissatisfaction with the company leadership. Our process revolves around discovering that big picture from the inside out, and then structuring strategies and tactics specifically designed to achieve your company’s goals. At the end of the exercise, companies want results, but they won’t get them if they lack key data, base decisions on false assumptions or fail to connect with their key audiences. So concise that I wanted to make it into a presentation and I ended up copy-pasting almost everything.
In case of trademark issues please contact the domain owner directly (contact information can be found in whois).

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