“Do whatever you can to get experience doing things, and take every opportunity to meet and talk to people – at all levels in an organisation. Ultimately, they’re all just people, so get to know the ‘human’.”

Welcome to #UCVoices, a series that shines a light on our vibrant network of clients and collaborators and the amazing things they are doing in our industry.

Paul Diggins, Head of Internal Communications, ‎Santander
Paul Diggins, Head of Internal Communications, ‎Santander

Meet Paul Diggins, Head of Internal Communications at Santander. Paul is a passionate advocate for unlocking the people manager population in organisations, by inspiring, empowering and equipping them with the tools and information they need to be the best they can be.

You have been in communications and engagement for over 20 years what is the biggest change you have seen within the sector during this time?

The transition from it all being about pushing messaging through channels and creative execution, to much more storytelling, dialogue and real conversation – people talking to people, and more upward creativity. We no longer have the monopoly, and aren’t the only people with access to tools to create compelling content, anyone can do it.

What is the best career advice you have been given?

“Remember, deep down, everyone’s just winging it…”

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Do whatever you can to get experience doing things, and take every opportunity to meet and talk to people – at all levels in an organisation. Ultimately, they’re all just people, so get to know the ‘human’.

What do you think will define the reputation of companies and brands post COVID?

For me, two things – how they responded to customers and communities, and how they helped their people through the crisis.

How have you supported the businesses you work for drive change and develop performance and purpose driven cultures?

Making connections between leaders and people, and putting dialogue, discussion and understanding at the heart of it.

What is the role of a line manager in engaging teams?  How do you prepare them for the role you want them to fulfil?

They’re at their best when they can be ‘the company’ to their people, and be ‘their people’ to their leaders. Our job is to equip them to do that well.

How have you helped leaders understand the value of engagement and communications?

I think it starts with helping them understand that they don’t have to have all the answers, and that listening is twice as important as talking…