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Posted on 12.17.2015
Five Steps to Improve Internal Communication
Internal communications can be an important part of a company’s success strategy. Studies show that companies with an effective internal communication program perform better financially and have a more engaged, productive workforce.
If you’re thinking about improving communication within your organization, here are a few steps to help guide you.
- Identify your goals. Before determining what to do, it’s critical to identify why you want to change or improve your internal communications. Are you hoping to improve employee engagement and satisfaction? Help them understand upcoming transformations within the business or industry? Improve the company’s internal culture? Your strategy will depend on the objectives you want to accomplish.
- Do a pulse check. Particularly in large organizations, leaders may not have an accurate perception of employee sentiment or where internal strengths and weaknesses lie. An employee survey is often the best way to quickly understand what employees think about a range of issues, as well as how they prefer to receive information – whether through in-person department meetings, emailed memos, the company intranet, etc. Design the questions with your objectives in mind. The results will help establish a baseline against which to measure your progress and give you an idea of where to focus your efforts.
- Create a plan. Research results in hand, it’s time to map out a strategy. If, for example, employees feel uninformed about the company’s broader strategies and prefer to receive information directly from their managers, develop tools to support managers in better communicating with their direct reports. Depending on the situation, those tools may include frequent talking points for employee meetings, discussion guides, FAQs, email templates, etc. Build in feedback loops to facilitate two-way dialogue, and include communications goals and measurements into your managers’ evaluations to ensure that messages are pushed through the organization.
- Be clear and concise. Develop communications with the understanding that most employees will not have the level or depth of knowledge about company programs, initiatives or news that you do. Write for clarity. And whenever possible, keep it short and sweet
- Listen up. Are you achieving your goals? Measure your progress, whether through a follow-up survey or other metrics related to your objectives, such as participation in employee education programs or absentee and turnover rates. Based on results and feedback, you can determine how to further alter or enhance your strategy.
Erin George is a Senior Account Supervisor at Lovell Communications. You can view more of Erin’s blogs here. Connect with Erin at email@example.com.