Best internal communications strategy
Lloyds Banking Group
With more than 60,000 employees, Lloyds Banking Group is the largest financial organisation in the UK. While internal communications has always played an important role in this complex business, the unprecedented uncertainty and change during the pandemic made it even more vital.
The internal communications team had several objectives, which started with evolving communications, where possible, into a two-way conversation. Past feedback suggested its content was too regular, contained too much spin and lacked relevance which prompted the team to focus on content that it knew would be popular, by moving beyond corporate news into more emotive and challenging subjects, using new tactics, such as real-life stories.
The team first changed the way it communicates by introducing a new framework for messaging. Called We Can, the framework governs key principles, such as tone and volume, enabling the team to cut out spin and focus on showing sympathy and humanity.
It started to run stories on people’s personal experiences on subjects such as miscarriages, menopause, career, racism, child autism and psychosis, sharing examples from the team’s own members to lead the way.
In starting these conversations, the internal comms team demonstrated Lloyds’ desire to be a more inclusive and caring employee and helped to foster an environment where it was alright to not be okay. It also moved from performing a functional role in corporate culture to a leading one.
Over the year, the team has invested in new channels and features to keep content fresh and engaging and is no longer frightened to try something new – even if it doesn’t work. The focus is now on peer-to-peer, rather than executive-led.
Two of the new video channels are fronted by members of the team. News in 3 Minutes is a round up of the latest news, while Speakers is an interview series with external guests who bring insights to inspire colleagues in their personal and professional lives. Past guests include boxer Anthony Joshua, fitness guru Joe Wicks and baker Nadiya Hussain.
In a survey, 84 per cent of Lloyds’ employees recognised that internal comms had changed its approach, with many pointing to an increase in empathy. Asked to select words to describe the bank’s culture, recipients picked humour, caring and agile. The largest increases by percentages were seen in the words ‘agile’, up 16 per cent; ‘honest conversation’ and ‘recognition’, both up 15 per cent, and proud (11 per cent).