Ed Kamrin is the Communications Manager for Corporate Citizenship at McKesson Corporation and is one of the speakers for the 2nd Annual Aligning HR & Internal Communications —West conference. Kamrin will be speaking on how McKesson aligned their HR and communications strategies to build a corporate responsibility program that connects employees to the business’ mission. He sat down with us to answer a few questions on the importance of HR Communications alignment and what’s new in the field today.
Why is this conference important for internal communication or HR professionals to attend?
I see HR and internal communications as natural allies. We share a passion for creating better workplaces and connecting employees to the purpose of our organizations. But too often, events are organized around professional silos and we miss areas of overlap. This conference offers an exciting forum for HR and communications professionals to exchange ideas and share what works. I really look forward to it.
Are there any emerging trends that internal communicators/HR professionals should be aware of?
In a world where anyone can be a content creator, I see a lot of self-expression, but a real decline in the quality of listening. Yet listening is the key to strong manager-employee relationships and to building trust at the workplace. It makes organizations stronger because when you listen, you surface important ideas and insights. It may not be a trend yet, but I believe it will be, and the companies that invest in building a culture of listening will reap big rewards.
What do you hope internal communication/HR professionals will take away from this conference (or your session)?
Too often, employees see volunteering and philanthropy programs as “extras” that aren’t related to their day-to-day work. When these programs are grounded in a company’s core mission, they become an extension of it. That helps employees connect to the purpose of their work. I hope my session inspires attendees to see corporate responsibility as a key player in driving engagement, and to walk away with ideas about how they can make their company’s program more strategic.
What’s new and exciting in your field today?
I’m excited to see Generation Z entering the workforce. Like their predecessors, the Millennials, they show a lot of interest in social impact and creating a better world. From what I’ve seen, they value transparency and open dialogue. I look forward to how they’ll transform organizational communication and culture.
What drew you to internal communications/HR and why are you passionate about this role?
As internal communications professionals, we work at the intersection of strategy and creativity. We have an amazing opportunity to shape the cultures of the organizations we serve. We help our colleagues succeed and find meaning in their work. And we have a lot of fun in the process.
What’s one thing you wish you could tell your past self?
Invite people you admire to lunch or coffee and ask lots of questions. Most people love to talk about what they do. And you’ll end up with insights no book or class can provide.
Recommend a book or podcast.
I’m a huge fan of podcasts, and my current favorites are StoryCorps and Kind World. I love them both because they find the extraordinary in the stories of ordinary people’s lives. They inspire me to do the same in my work as a communications professional.