Spotlight on the Mexican Tax Administration Service’s internal communication activitiesBy the Mexican Tax Administration Service
The Mexican Tax Administration Service (Servicio de Administración Tributaria, or SAT) has acknowledged the value of its human capital, and has been putting great effort into motivating its staff and making sure that they are proud to belong to the institution. In this article, they place a spotlight on their internal communication activities and how they are using every means to reach out to their staff in order to build an inclusive organization with a single focus.
Having committed, enthusiastic, team-playing staff is crucial for any organization wishing to achieve its institutional goals. With this in mind, SAT has established an internal communication strategy based on four pillars which provide a foundation and guide for all the actions undertaken by the SAT communication department.
These four important pillars are as follows:
- Identity: encompasses all activities that stimulate and encourage a sense of belonging.
- Ethics and Values: includes all actions related to the promotion of SAT’s values and its notion of accountability.
- Professional Development: covers all initiatives that enable continuous improvement of skills and the efficient use of institutional resources.
- Human Development: deals with activities aimed at ensuring the integral wellbeing of staff, thus merging all the above-mentioned activities into one.
Throughout the year, we conceive, on average, 25 strategies aimed at influencing the behaviour and work ethic of more than 33,000 SAT employees, located in over 180 offices/representations across the country, including 55 tax payer “attention offices” and 49 Customs offices. We have also established eight different communication channels to disseminate messages and information to our target audience:
- IntraSAT – the SAT intranet;
- SAT Avisa – a software that enables us to send email notifications to specific groups of people within the administration;
- Radio SAT – the SAT radio service, which covers the entire country;
- TVSAT screens – although we do not own a TV channel, we use a network of TV screens placed in all our offices across the country to disseminate videos, with the possibility to offer customized programmes to each office;
- A digital calendar and corporate wallpapers/screensavers – they enable us to transform all desktop screens into message boards.
SAT staff is made up of people from diverse ages, academic backgrounds and work experience, having to perform very different functions. Building cohesion among such a variety of individuals is a major challenge, but is critical to the solidity of the institution.
According to information collected within the institution, out of 33,000 employees nationwide, 54% are women and 46% are men, clearly reflecting the importance of gender parity in our institution. It is worth noting that since 2019, SAT’s executive team comprises mainly women.
In terms of age, 23% of SAT’s staff are in their late 50’s and 60’s (Baby Boomers), while 56% are between 30 and their early 50’s (Generation X), with the remaining 21% of employees being under 30 (Millenials and Centennials).
The highest number of employees work in Mexico City, where 30% of SAT personnel are located. Another 30% work in the states of Mexico: Baja California, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, and Veracruz. Nationwide, 25% of SAT staff work in the Customs and foreign trade areas, both at Headquarters and in the field.
When we develop communication strategies and messages, we have to take into account all this data to decide which message to convey and which media channels to use for what type of personnel in order to maximize the impact of our activities.
Under the current administration, new goals were established for all government agencies. In December 2018, we launched an initiative to communicate the Presidency’s message to our personnel as a means of gathering every member of the institution around the common goal to transform Mexico.
Our strategy was divided into three stages: during the first stage, we focused on disseminating the Presidency’s official message on the need to work towards Mexico’s transformation; during the second stage, we focused on enhancing the value of our human capital; and during the third stage, we focused on promoting SAT’s achievements.
Yo soy SAT (I am SAT)
SAT is a busy organization in constant evolution. Therefore, any campaign aimed at building community pride has to be adapted regularly to echo what is happening within the various services. To add to the difficulty and as mentioned earlier, SAT personnel work in many different areas that are crucial to the smooth running of the country, to the point that some departments or units might consider themselves as independent from others. Indeed, some individuals may even think that they are not part of the same institution.
The General Administration of Customs is part of SAT, but has specific functions. It has offices located throughout the country and employees with a unique profile. Building a sense of belonging within such a group of individuals represents a real challenge.
As we are responsible for institutional communication, we orient our efforts towards strengthening the sense of belonging within each one of SAT’s units, while at the same time ensuring that their staff feel close to other SAT units and integrated into the organization in order to foster collaboration between all the entities that constitute it.
In the last months of 2019, we launched a campaign promoting the work carried out by the different services within SAT with a new institutional motto “Yo soy SAT,” which translates into “I am SAT.” “Yo soy SAT” was used as the “signature phrase” for a series of videos posted on Twitter that showed SAT officers performing their activities. The objective was to show the human side of the institution and to illustrate how diverse our mission is.
SAT’s motto is simple and conveys a sense of belonging. When SAT employees use it, the boundary between institutional goals and personal goals is erased, and these goals become even more important to achieve. The campaign also allows the public to identify SAT with real people, not as an abstract entity.
Building cohesion within the institution requires more than just communication and dissemination campaigns. We also have to get involved in the recruitment processes, and make sure that every new employee, especially those who are new to the Customs and trade areas, know the values of SAT, what makes up its identity, what the motto “I am SAT” means, and embody SAT culture into their psyche.
The objective for 2020 is to use the motto “I am SAT” to trigger a reflection on what SAT represents for all those who work for it: its history, its values, and its goals. This is not an easy task, but we will stand tall and meet this challenge.