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When Mark Goldring became chief executive at Oxfam GB nearly two years ago, the first person through his office door was head of internal comms Saskia Jones.


“I worked with him from day one,” she says. “I don’t see how you can be successful in internal comms if you’re not close to the leadership.”

One of the first things she did was make a video, ‘Meet Mark’, where she interviewed the new boss and immediately helped create lines of communication with employees.

Saskia (pictured right) is IoIC’s Internal Communicator of the Year. She’s also the epitome of the communicator as ‘trusted advisor’ at the top of an organisation – in her case Oxfam GB.

She tells January’s InsideOut how she uses ‘Global Conversations’ to communicate with 22,000 volunteers and 5,000 staff based across 50 countries, and provides a quarterly ‘Dashboard’ to advise the leadership.

“Leader-led dialogue is so important,” says Saskia. “We can have the most beautiful intranet pages or presentations to staff but research shows that what leaders say and do makes the most difference.

“I really try and encourage our leadership team to talk to their teams and be visible and approachable.

“I regularly work with them advising on communications. I feel if I get that right, it will flow down the comms chain. I know that when leaders care about communication, can explain priorities, how they affect their people, and make the effort to listen, staff are more committed.”

Institute members can read the full interview with Saskia in January's InsideOut to find out what she has to say about ‘dashboards’ and ‘global conversations’ - and why she set up a translation department at Oxfam.

Also in this month’s issue:

  • London predicts – we ask IC experts from around the capital what to look out for in 2015
  • Remake, remodel – your Institute is changing and you have the chance to vote on the future
  • Lead your leaders – get the details behind a coaching masterclass from Sheila Hirst
  • Get engaged – author Emma Bridger offers nine ways to keep employees engaged
  • Sector Spotlight falls on...DC Thomson, publishers of The Beano.

IoIC members can read or download the January edition of InsideOut by using their log-in (top right of this website) and then going to the ‘IoIC Knows’ section and selecting ‘Publications’ from the drop-down menu.
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