How Rolls-Royce strives to have the highest employee engagement scores [interview]

Hester Gras

For BOC, this year has been marked by some great Internal Communications and Employee Engagement events, including the Internal Communications Conference in London and the Internal Communications Camp in Barcelona. The speaker line-up at these events included names like Virgin Atlanctic Airways, Heineken, eBay, BCC and London Underground. Alex Kalomparis, Head of Internal Communications at Rolls-Royce, also shared his insights with the audience. imgZine had the opportunity to interview him.

Rolls-Royce has a very personalised approach to its products. Do you also personalise your communication to employees?

We personalise and tailor our communications considerably as we have a diverse business structure. First of all, we have two divisions: Aerospace and Land & Sea. Within those divisions, there are a number of business units including: Defense, Civil aerospace, Nuclear, Marine and Power Systems. Secondly, we tailor for the different geographies. Our internal communications teams focus a lot of their time and effort to tailor any corporate communications and make it meaningful for their audience. Where we are not good at personalising communications is based on employee profiles, for example for the Traditionalists, Gen X and Millenials. We need to do more work in this area, but we do have some exciting plans!

Which elements do you think internal communications need to have to be successful?

It’s important to have a good balance of digital and traditional channels, be a center of excellence in change communications, have clear and compelling content, a flexible approach to strategic business partnering, and communicators with generalist capabilities. By far the most important, in my view, is a strong focus on equipping leaders to become impactful communicators. The internal communications teams that get that last point right are the ones that are the most successful.

A Rolls-Royce at their Goodwood HQ in Chichester, Britain. Source: Hollande Hoogte. Photo by REX.
A Rolls-Royce at their Goodwood HQ in Chichester, Britain. Source: Hollande Hoogte. Photo by REX.

What new innovations are you looking to add to your existing internal communications strategy?

We are putting a strong focus on balancing our channel mix. If we have a good balance of traditional and digital channels, we can cater to all employee profiles across all ages and communications preferences. Currently, we are focusing on crowdsourcing and social collaboration tools to allow peer-to-peer communications and also engage employees by providing them with the opportunity to provide input into our strategy.

What would the ideal internal communications situation be for Rolls-Royce 5 or 10 years from now?

Ultimately it is about the employees. If we have leaders that are strong communicators, with an authentic voice, and we have equipped them to engage our employees, the ideal situation would be that we have employee sustainable engagement scores that are comparable to the highest performing companies. Being recognised for this achievement as a team would also be nice.

About BOC

BOC Global Events & Training Group is a global event organiser and corporate training provider in London for progressive IC leaders, Communications and Employee Engagement seniors to find the tools to work smarter and keep up with the fast changing marketplace. During the events, insights and showcases by successful brands will be shared with the focus on facilitating a winning Internal Communications strategy to transform and shape the future of everyone’s business.

Want to join the next event? The Internal Communications Camp, part of Internal Communications Conference, travels to Paris on October 9, 2015!





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