Are your employees in the loop—or in the dark?
According to Gallup, 74 percent of employees feel that they’re missing out on company information and news. Other research found that just four in 10 employees can confidently describe to others what their employer does.
Unfortunately, most organizations do not prioritize internal communication, which often leads to a culture of misunderstanding, fear and disengagement. That’s no way to run a business.
If you’re keen to turn the tide in favor of free-flowing information, here are four tips to improve employee communication in the workplace:
1. Employee communication must become clearer.
Traditionally, employee communication has been focused on broadcasting news and information in a steady cascade downward. This formal, top-down approach is not conducive to two-way conversation, nor is it a good way to gather raw feedback or insights. It also tends to be quite boring.
Business communication is also too frequently a stuffy, bland stew of vague jargon.
If you want to create a better, more effective flow of information, communicate in plain language. Lose the buzzwords, be straightforward, and write with clarity. Also, actively invite employees to be a part of the discussion so you can dispel rumors and clear up misconceptions.
2. Employee communication must become more inclusive and adaptive.
Is your company still communicating with employees the same way it did 10 years ago?
Preferences change, and so should your programs and platforms. Regularly poll your employees to see which channels and technologies they prefer, and adapt accordingly. If no one uses the intranet, pivot to something else. Don’t be afraid to kill the newsletter if no one reads it anymore.
Be sensitive to employee communication preferences, and prioritize inclusive messaging. Make sure your communications are representative of the diversity you have on board. Give everyone a voice.
3. Employee communication must be varied.
Who wants to read the same messaging for years on end?
Have fun with your internal communications. Send employees different kinds of messages via different mediums. If emails are going unopened, try sending a video or audio message. Use an infographic or a photo essay to announce a new policy.
Just as you would for a marketing campaign, try to find the most compelling, interesting mix for your messages.
4. Employee communication should empower your employees.
Communicators should educate and motivate, but they should also uplift and empower.
In every piece you produce, include an element of empowerment for your colleagues. Instead of just disseminating information, provide useful content that can help people advance professionally. Become a source of inspiration and practical, helpful information. Answer questions, solicit feedback, and use your platform to lift up those around you.
A version of this post first appeared on the Tribal Impact blog.