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Prioritizing Work When You Can’t Do It All

While you can’t do everything, what should you do?

It’s important to prioritize requests and provide alternatives

For internal communicators, it’s like the perfect storm. Let’s face it, your to-do list is long, everyone thinks their request is the most important and it needs to be completed immediately. Businesses are transforming, they’re growing both organically and through mergers and acquisitions, digitalization is on everyone’s radar, all while dealing with a global pandemic. Communications teams are dealing with overwhelming demand for support.

We know Internal Communications and Organizational Change Management (OCM) are critical to the success of nearly every project, but where do we draw the line? It’s great to feel needed, but most internal communications teams tend to run very lean. You cannot pour from an empty cup! If my time at Pivot has taught me anything, it’s that putting self-care first has allowed me to show up at my best, every day. Next time a request comes across your desk, here’s a helpful way to understand the magnitude of the activity to help prioritize the work that the team supports:

How to Prioritize Requests

Teams should prioritize requests that have the biggest impact to the organization and if there is time, the medium priority items. Those highest priority items include those that support the company’s strategic initiatives, they impact the majority of the organization, have executive sponsorship, could have substantial impact if it does not go well or they deal with sensitive subject matter (i.e., employee pay, reduction in force, etc.).

No one likes to say no, but it will help build additional capability in the organization for the lower priority items. To help the organization “learn to fish,” create a toolkit of helpful resources, instructions and templates for the smaller initiatives to be able to use and build that communications muscle. Lastly, it’s important to gain alignment and the support of the leadership team before implementing a model like this.

How does your team prioritize requests for Internal Communications or OCM support? For bonus content, message me on LinkedIn and I’ll share how I respond to requests that are out of scope and the team will be unable to support.

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