Abstracts: February 24th, 2010

This document describes how good communication is used to support the development of high-performing organizations. There is compelling evidence that communication makes a vital contribution to organisations in the public services as well as in businesses.

The survey research organisation Ipsos MORI has developed a substantial amount of data related to the overall performance of local public services and their communication effectiveness. It looked at 29 London local authorities, including 7 that were rated as ‘excellent’ by the Audit Commission for 2003/4. It found that all 7 ‘excellent’ councils were also among the top 11 councils rated by the public as being the best at keeping them informed.

Ipsos MORI also found that within the NHS the better-performing trusts committed more resources to communication, were more likely to have marketing strategies in place, and had communication teams that were more influential.

Good communication is also important for engaging with staff. The Cabinet Office carried out a review of the evidence base for employee engagement during 2007, as part of its work on improving engagement with civil servants across all government departments. It showed that engaged staff are 43% more productive, perform up to 20% more effectively and take an average of 3.5 fewer sick days a year than disengaged staff. So, good communication that engages staff, customers/patients and stakeholders is vital to organisational success.

The document quotes examples of what good communication looks like.

THE COMMUNICATING ORGANISATION is available from Department of Heath