Clear and consistent messaging on a workforce generation cycle
Without doubt, any communication around employment must be simple and clear. But understanding how to deliver consistent, consumable messaging can be tricky, particularly when an employment structure changes. In early 2020, the Australian Navy needed to communicate changes being made to the structure of its workforce. To stand out as an employer of choice in a modern marketplace, the Australian Navy knew it needed reform to offer flexibility and transparency. And with unprecedented growth, complexity and diversity, the workforce generation cycle that had upheld its workforce structure for three decades was no longer able to support department and employee needs. Fearing the spread of misinformation, the Australian Navy engaged RD Consulting.
Our initial brief was to produce a one-page document outlining the new workforce model and its structure. The target audience was internal stakeholders, with the purpose of aligning an understanding of the new cycle. RD Consulting’s contract with the Australian Navy was extended, and the document produced by our team was used to demonstrate to all business lines how the workforce cycle would fit into the larger department’s multi-year Human Resources plan.
Underpinned by SharePoint, the document gave business lines an implementation timeframe, communicating when the cycle would be rolled out in specific areas. Aiming to build authenticity and trust with the workforce impacted by the change, we organised, managed and structured a series of leader-led conversations between senior leadership and department employees. This provided a forum for leaders to offer clarity and consistent messaging, and further allowed those impacted to ask questions.
We worked with the Australian Navy to pre-plan the content of conversations, aiming to ensure that information was clear and consistent, to shield against the spread of misinformation. During the conversations, our team provided attendees with a range of offline resources (including a printed strategy map, simplified ‘commitment’ poster and a self-contained USB) for each to follow along and later reference.
By breaking messaging down into specific audiences through leader-led conversations, we were able to tailor and guide responses, leading to more effective and clear communication.
While the handover process is still underway, RD Consulting’s work has been presented to the Head and Deputy Head of the Australian Navy and has become an industry standard for communication.