Oshine is a beautiful creative multi-layout, multi-purpose wordpress portfolio theme with 18 unique demos. Oshine has been rated as one of the Best Portfolio & Photography themes in many popular blogs. We have carefully crafted each & every demo to ensure that a clean and modern design is carried through. Great design and Powerful features makes Oshine irresistible.

Follow Us

Copyright 2014 Brand Exponents All Rights Reserved

Getting set for January…

Getting set for January

January is a great time to really kick start your internal communications!                                                                                             

There’s so much happening, so making sure you’re communicating to all your colleagues will make ‘the longest month of the year’ move a little quicker!

Here are some ideas for how you can get involved…

Dry January

After a busy Christmas, more and more people take some time out in January to avoid alcohol, why don’t you help people – by sharing stories in your team of colleagues who are getting involved or share resources available online to help people stay focused?

For more information: click here

Key dates that are happening through January… 

January is filled with ‘key dates’ like The Chinese New Year, Burns Night, Hug Day and Blue Monday – so make sure you’re including these in your plans and keeping people engaged around your business.

Don’t forget…

None of this has to cost too much money for your teams, there’s loads of great resources online that you can use (or point people to) so if you’ve not got your plan together, start now!

Getting the mood right: sharing how your business can help

After the festive season, many people will be dreading the New Year… maybe things have not gone as well as planned, they have bills to pay, and are worrying about what lies ahead.

As a business think about how can you share information or help that’s available to your colleagues, so they know that they’re not alone.

This could be things like sharing money saving benefits or assistance, EAP and Mental Health support – make sure you’re upweighting this early on in the month so people know there’s help available.

One final thought… 

January has to be one of the lonnnnggest months of the year, so make sure you’re taking time for yourself through the month to look after yourself.

Take time out for a little treat (it may be just a catch up with a friend or colleague) and make some time for you!

Want to know more or have a great idea?

Want to know more, or share what you’re doing..?

Get in touch – it’d be great to hear from you! Click here to drop us an email!

Communicating through Covid-19: Case Study

Case study: Communication through Covid-19

In March 2020 the care industry (along with the rest of the world) faced one of the biggest challenges in a generation, COVID-19. In the care sector, this created uncertainty, panic, and confusion, not only for the care home providers, but their colleagues too.

The headache of clear communications:

Sunrise Senior Living and Gracewell Health Care were no different, with 46 homes across England and Wales they knew that the Pandemic was going to change how they operated as a care provider.

At the very start of the pandemic, Sunrise Senior Living and Gracewell Healthcare recognised that they needed to change their approach to how they communicated with their teams. They understood the link between clear communication and engaged colleagues and needed to find a team who would quickly understand their current frustrations, but also ‘hit the ground running’ to help deliver engaging communication to all their colleagues.

Speaking to Sharon Benson, HR Director at Sunrise Senior Living – “back in March 2020, I knew that we had to think very differently about how we communicated with our colleagues in the face of a global pandemic, particularly given negative press about the safety of working and living in care homes.  Having helped me in previous organisations, Spark Consultants were my first port of call as I knew they’d be able to quickly understand the challenges and deliver a step change in how we communicated with our teams”

Communication remains one of the biggest opportunities for business:

While communication with colleagues is one of the most cited areas for improvement in many businesses, many teams fail to correlate the need to invest in this specialism to help their business.

In an ever-changing landscape within the care sector, (where retention and attraction of colleagues is so fierce), it’s so important to invest time and effort in how you communicate with your colleagues.

The CEO of Sunrise Senior Living, Natalie Jane Macdonald perhaps sums it up the best… “without extensive two-way communications with colleagues during the pandemic using multiple channels, both formal and informal, we’d not have been able to operate as well as we did. Working with Spark Consultants has undoubtedly helped all teams understand the huge business value of active listening and really professional communications…”.

The result

The team at Spark Consultants were able to quickly make a step change in how Sunrise communicated, all 46 homes understood when and how communication was going to be delivered to them.

By listening and understanding to all teams (along with using specially developed communication tools) communication to the sites improved and lead to clarity of what the homes needed to do, especially with ever changing policies and guidance from The Government.

Speaking to Suzanne Garston, one of the homes General Managers, she agreed that the changes really helped… “Before Spark Consultants, communication was hit and miss, it was confusing, not clear and there was so much of it. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve been able to see the wood from the trees, we know when communication is going to come, and we understand the importance of sharing this with our teams”

Communication holds the key to building trust…

Communication holds the key to building trust…

Trust is more important than ever…

Last week the Edelman trust barometer for 2021 was release and (as usual) was full of really interesting figures and detail.

One of the key points was the emergence of business being the only trusted institution, this is over Government (rather unsurprisingly) and the media – that has seen a BIG drop in how it’s trusted.

There’s loads of great information in the report (I’ll include a link below for you all to have a read through) but my point is around how communication in a business is central to build trust

By explaining and communicating why something is happening, or how things are going to change is so vital to any business. People want to know what’s happening, it’s natural and to close off this vital way of increasing engagement in a business makes no sense at all.

I’ve worked with many senior leaders over the years, and one of the most effective ways of helping them is by ‘suggesting’ (you can’t tell them!) that they spend more time listening and talking with their workforce. It’s only then that the real engagement is seen – when people can hear and see what someone’s like.

Think about it, Car manufacturers spend millions on communicating about their latest car… If you want to buy a car, you’re more than likely going to read up about it before making that decision, you’ll read reviews about how reliable it is, and the ‘spec’. You may also walk into a car sales room (remember those days?!) to find out more about the car, you’ll then have a test drive… all these different ‘touch points’ are helping to build trust in your decision.

I’m veering of my point here, but to be clear, by communicating – and communicating well you’re building trust – and a trust that lasts…

How are you taking time to build trust in your organisation?


For more information on the Edelman Trust Barometer – click below…


How do you communicate a tough message to your business?

How do you communicate a tough message to your business?

Let’s face it, change is happening all the time, currently more and more businesses are having to make tough decisions about how the business is shaped to cope with the ever-changing market against the backdrop of Covid.

One question that I’m asked almost every week is around how to communicate a tough message to a team or an individual.

For me, there are five key areas (and I’m sure there’s a load more too!) but I think the five below will certainly help you on your way!

1: Create a plan

  • Don’t blag it – it’s not going to work and (especially if you’re talking to many people) you need to deliver a consistent message.
  • Plan what you are going to say, along with when and how – for many people they see this as a bit of a faff, it’s not. A great plan will mean that you have covered all bases and thought of any curved balls that may be asked.
  • Put yourself in the ‘shoes of the impacted’, try to think of all the questions that they’d be asking. If you can, this is where I’d suggest you engage with your HR function to make sure that they can put a ‘people slant’ on the situation.

2: Being clear and explain why

  • It’s at this point that you’ll need to explain what’s happening and why so they can start to understand the reasons for why they are there.
  • If you can, create a compelling message (some people call it a story) to explain why you’ve reached this decision.

3: Get to the point – don’t fluff it up

  • Linked closely with the previous point, but still important. You know what to say – the temptation is to veer off the subject and try and fluff it up – don’t.

4: Get feedback, listen more

  • Once you’ve said your bit, shut up and listen…
  • It’s important for the person impacted to ask as many questions as they can (this will help with understanding and helping them through the change.

5: Follow up

  • One thing that many people forget to do is follow up on the conversation, they’ll just “leave it and move on” – please try not to do this.
  • Thinking about the change curve (that I’ve included below) it’s important to get people through this process as quickly as possible (both from a business and a personal point of view)

The power of listening…

The power of listening…

For me this is the most important component any communication team’s toolbox.

I can’t remember who said it, but there’s a reason why we were given two ears and one mouth – we need to take time out to listen more and act upon the feedback that has been given.

More and more organisations see the benefit of taking time out to ask their teams what they think about working for the business. Colleague listening surveys are nothing new, but they provide a great way of understanding the ‘mood in the camp’.

Listening comes with a massive health warning though, it’s one thing to listen, but it’s another to act on the feedback.

I’ve been able to work for many businesses who are clear on the importance of following up on this feedback, but I’ve also heard of some horror shows where the feedback is pushed under the carpet until the next survey (and guess what happens there, yep you’ve guessed it – the same issues raise their head and the management teams are all scratching their heads as to why this has happened again!)

Action is important with any feedback, but it’s equally important to face into the feedback that can’t be changed too. Many businesses sometime shy away from this – but those who can explain why they’ll not be able to make a change will ultimately win too.

Building an open and honest communication plan from listening can really be a game changer and help build a culture that lasts. 

What? Where did that one come from?!

What? Where did that one come from?!

Are you ready to deal with that last minute communication? Managing that curved ball…

The great thing about working in internal communication is the fact that no day is the same, you’re in a privileged position of knowing so much about a business through the interactions and communications that you have to deal with on a day to day basis.

While I’m always going on about the importance of a plan, sometimes that curved ball will come from nowhere and smack you right in the face! It’s then that you really have to think on your feet and get moving and prove your worth!

This year, I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside a care home company on improving their internal communications, and one thing that came out of nowhere for the whole team was the speed in which the Covid vaccine became available to our teams.

For me there are three key areas to help communicating last minute messages:

You need to work at pace:

Sometimes you need drop everything to create that communication, that sometimes means working all hours to get the communication signed off and ready to go.

Being clear with your message:

Sometimes when communicating at pace, information and guidance changes quickly. At the same time, it’s typical that people are hungry to hear the messages too.

With this in mind, it’s important to share a clear message and share what you know. At the same time it’s also important to be up front and not be afraid of saying that you don’t know all the answers.

Provide a clear process for questions and feedback:

As above, if things are changing at pace, it’s a great idea to be able to share a regularly updated Q&A document along with a process for where questions can be asked.

In summary, communicating at pace can be tough, but it’s so exciting at the same time – after all not everything can be planned!

When did you last tidy up your communication?

When did you last tidy up your communications?

This week, I decided to clear out my spare room, it was something that I’d been meaning to do for ages (and let me tell you it took just as long to sort through it all!)

In the same way, it’s important to take time to clear out and review what you really need in your communications toolkit.

When working with communication teams I’m always encouraging them to look at their current plans, strategies and approaches to see how they can find ways to improve and deliver effective communications. A review is such a great way to take stock and look again at how you engage with your teams – when was the last time you chose to tidy your comms?

Audience segmentation – changing your message to your audience

Audience segmentation – changing your message to your audience

Many people often ask me if they need to change the way they communicate for different teams and audiences. The answer is simple, yes!

Clearly there are some communications that don’t need to be amended, but in many cases it makes sense to adapt the way it’s communicated to provide greater understanding and impact.

The process of audience segmentation is not a new concept, it’s been around for years in marketing to help teams focus on key customer groups when targeting a key message.

It’s the same process in Internal Communication, while not something that is adopted in ‘newer communication teams’ it can be used to great effect when working out how to land a message effectively.

By taking time to understand different teams and colleague groups in your business you’ll be able to target your communication far easier – so what are you waiting for? Get segmenting!

Happy New Year to you…

Happy New Year to you!

Let’s face it 2020 was an ‘interesting year’, as communicators it’s sometimes difficult to personally rise above all the bad news and fear that is being pushed in the media.

So, as we head into 2021, what three things can we do to improve Internal communications in business:

Stay positive (if you can):

  • We know it’s tough out there – but let’s stay positive and share the great news that is happening in business at the moment
  • It’s so important to share these messages, not only to remain positive to but help others realise the value of their work and what they’re doing is important

The importance of trust

  • Trust is such an important factor in any business and now, more than ever people are hungry for the truth over ‘fake news and spin’
  • As communicators we can help share the truth, and focus on news and information that’s happening in business to help drive collaboration and innovation

The importance of a plan around your communication

  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If you have a communication plan, your life will be so much easier. You’d never dream of not having a plan for how you’re going to achieve your sales targets or objectives for the year, so why not have the same for how you’re going to communicate this with your teams too?

2021 is going to be a bumpy ride, in more ways than one. Having said this, I know that internal communication will play a big part in making sure business can get through this time – let’s remain confident and stay positive!

The importance of a great presentation

The importance of a great presentation

Many people I speak to think that a great presentation has to have hundreds of slides with more graphs than you can shake a stick at.

In reality, some of the greatest presentations do not rely on animations flying in from all angles or, graphs that tell you something you already know…

They rely on simplicity.

Einstein said that genius is making complex ideas simple, and it should be no different for a presentation.

In many cases people forget that THEY are the presentation – not the screen that’s behind them. The slides are there to bring what you say to life, not to say exactly what you’re saying…

Simplify your message, less is more…

Sometimes it’s good to celebrate what you’ve been up to – well done!

Sometimes it’s good to celebrate what you’ve been up to – well done!

Over the past year, it’s been tough for everyone, and it’s been great that we’ve be able to celebrate our care workers, NHS workers and key workers.

In the same way, there are many other groups of people who have continued to ‘plough through’ the work with little or no recognition – one of these groups is the role of Internal Communications.

Well done to all my contacts and friends who have the (sometimes) unenviable role of trying to simplify the most complex of briefings, or challenging back on the briefing that just won’t land well and no one will ever read it!

What you do each and every day is nothing short of incredible – well done!

Why wouldn’t you invest in Internal Communication?

Why wouldn’t you invest in Internal Communication?

Before getting into internal communication, I saw the whole idea of internal communication as a bit of a fad. It was the team that always seemed to have fun, but didn’t seem to do much – how wrong was I?

The internal communication team is one of those vital functions, a cog in the wheel of any business that makes sure that everyone knows what’s happening.

It’s not only that though, they help drive innovation, build greater understanding and engagement.

More and more businesses are seeing the benefit of employing an internal communications team to help them along the way and it’s no secret that some of the most successful business have the most engaged teams. An engaged workforce provides 22% more in profitability and 21% in productivity (not to mention significantly lower labour turnover, less time off sick, fewer safety incidents and increased customer service). *

In a competitive employment market why wouldn’t you invest in communicating with your workforce so they remain engaged and involved with your business?

* source – Gallup: How Employee Engagement Drives Growth

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google





Learn how Spark communication can help your business today

Sign up to our Newsletter