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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. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising.
In all of these settings there is an opportunity for shrewd companies to engage with their smart, successful workers and keep them motivated.
Internal communications strategies are best delivered in a language the receiver can comprehend, in a timely manner and comfortable medium, conveying one business topic, with an outcome that is specific and measurable. In essence, anything we can do to increase the effectiveness of internal communication through choosing appropriate communicators and receivers, an appropriate channel or medium and a concise, coherent message makes the firm more responsive and competitive. Relatively unimportant functions like office gossip will be delivered alongside crucial informal communication that cuts across formal reporting procedures to get things done. It is important to bear in mind at this point the spontaneous nature of much of this internal communication, which makes it more difficult to manage, control, police or measure.
Steve Nicholls of Social Media in Business states “Ultimately, as a forward-thinking manager you will want to lay out a vision for the company in which executives, management and employees work together to a common goal.


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.
If that means you need to set up a Facebook page to communicate with employees, then so be it. Companies have an image or a brand which they need to maintain by consistently delivering to their customers.
Guidance should be provided to the people who are conveying the message, along with tips which they can use in sharing the message.
All the component parts of a business must communicate well with one another, top-down, bottom-up, and across many strata; all depending for their success on whether the recipient is prepared to listen and whether the delivery of communications is well-timed, pitched and balanced. Because it is opportunistic, speedy and responding to situational changes, it is one of the most dreaded parts of a manager’s job. You will need to confirm that you are committed to open and transparent policies, so as to attract the best and most dynamic new employees to hire. Staff indicated a low understanding of the business direction, low morale an dissatisfaction with the company leadership. It is necessary for them to be aware of what they need to accomplish – in terms of both the brand image of the company and individual career goals.



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