Glenna Cross is a Master Communicator and Communication and Search Consultant. Her dream is to see the HR department and the Communication Department work together as strategic partners. Both departments have a focus on employee engagement and are champions for employees within an organization. While most of their functions are separate, many overlap, particularly in the area of change management, leadership support and connecting with employees. This can be a cause for misunderstanding and sometimes even conflict.
Sometimes the Communications department may be viewed as taking direction from HR to “get the message out”, “make it pretty” or otherwise execute specific communications tactics, as well as addressing risk management by ensuring issues do not explode in the media. However, the best relationships see HR engaging with Communications as strategic business and thought partners who can provide insight, advice and counsel and sound strategy (in addition to the execution of that strategy) to move the needle on employee communications and employee engagement.
At Glenna’s presentation for the Workplace Fairness group, she asked
How can organizations develop a functional, successful partnership between HR and Communications’?
Some thoughts from the group;
- HR/Communications should report into the same line of command within the organizational structure.
- Each department should have a leader at a similar level. Both departments need to work at building relationships with each other. Mutual respect is key.
- Develop a common goal and understanding – practice common goal setting .
- Develop a RACI chart to ensure roles and responsibilities of each department are clear.
- Examine the physical location of the departments – how far apart are they in the building?
Building strong working relationships is a focus of our work at the Workplace Fairness Institute. Teams who take extra effort and maintain an on-going commitment to collaborate generate innovative and creative results.