Why should you care about strong, effective and compelling internal communication?
The simple answer: investing in your workforce and showing them that you value them through transparent and engaging communication results in happier, engaged and more positive employees.
Try these simple steps to elevate your employee communication.
Listen, Then Make a Plan (and Stick to It!)
Before creating any kind of communication, it’s important to know your audience. Focus groups, surveys and meetings can yield vital details and insights into your company’s culture.
From these insights, you can begin creating a communication plan, defining your objectives and creating a strategy that will address your employees’ needs and concerns with relevant content and information.
Keep Messaging Consistent
Implementing your communication plan should begin with identifying how you would like your messages to appear to your employees. What is the tone? What kind of language do you use? Do you already have an internal brand? What is the delivery method?
Once you answer those questions and more, you can begin forming your messaging. Take care to ensure the messaging of your internal brand remains consistent throughout all communication pieces. This creates and reinforces a strong internal voice and personality.
Decrease Clutter, Increase Value
Have you ever bought one thing from a store and then realized you receive five emails every morning from them? Think about how that makes you feel and how that applies to communication across the board. Seeing an overload of messages evokes indifference and lessens their impact.
To avoid this information overload, keep messages clear, direct and regularly scheduled so employees know when and where to expect information. This will increase message value, so you can save time, money, and decrease the amount of clutter in your employees’ already busy lives.
Keep the Conversation Flowing
Once you’ve developed a winning strategy, it’s essential to encourage two-way communication. Building a relationship requires authenticity and honesty, and it doesn’t stop once you’ve completed an Open Enrollment campaign. By continually placing importance on your employees’ concerns, feedback and criticism, you are helping build loyalty and cultivating a positive culture.
Measure Results, Then Improve
Measuring the results of a communication plan may seem unnecessary, but it is essential in the development of future messaging. It can be tempting to call a new online newsletter a success based on survey response numbers, but disregarding how employees felt about the information in the newsletter can be dangerous.
A mixed-method approach of qualitative (focus groups, interviews, observation) and quantitative (polls, surveys, questionnaires) research can provide the most comprehensive view of how you can continue to improve your communication strategy.
These tips are meant to serve as a basic guideline and hopefully they inspire you to create your own winning employee communication.