5 tactics for improving internal communications

To boost morale and efficiency, your messages must land with your employees. Here are ways to enhance that process.

Engagement accelerates productivity.

Employees who get better company communications report higher levels of motivation and overall happiness with their jobs. According to The McKinsey Global Institute, employee productivity improves by 20–25 percent when employees feel connected and engaged.

As your team grows, it vital that you keep employees in the loop. However, it can be nearly impossible to keep large teams aligned and informed. To that end, you may have to find solutions that scale.

Here are ways to enhance your internal messaging:

1. Get support from the right company communications tools.

It can be difficult to communicate pertinent information to a large group of people. Whether you’re indoctrinating recent hires, introducing a new system for payroll or trying to update your team about a benefits change, you must communicate effectively and efficiently.

Unfortunately, many teams rely on sending extensive mass emails, and employees feel overwhelmed. Thirty percent of employees say they simply ignore company-generated emails.

These days, some organizations communicate via mobile. Younger employees especially will respond more readily to a push notification on a mobile device than to an email.

Just remember that a tool alone won’t solve company communication problems. Although 87 percent of employees say they still receive most company information via email, intranet or in-person meetings, 74 percent feel they’re missing out on information and news. You must use the right tools strategically.

2. Use consistency to create expectations.

If your employee communications process feels random, employees won’t know what to expect, and it will be hard to keep them in the loop. They might attend a helpful talk from your CEO, only to wait six months for an update on related progress.

That’s why you want to make your employee communications program consistent. For example, you might:

  • Offer seminars once per quarter
  • Send a weekly video update from company leaders
  • Dedicate each month to discussing and exploring a certain topic
  • Create a communications calendar
  • Meet once per quarter to discuss overall company goals
  • Meet once per month and have a team share what it’s working on

3. Find pathways for internal sharing.

If communications always come from the HR department or top executives, employees may feel bombarded with updates and mandates, rather than feeling invited to join a discussion.

You must bring employees at every level into the fold.

“Start by making your leadership accessible to everyone, encouraging open communication across departments, and reorganizing your business to function as a ‘team of teams,'” wrote Pat Sullivan, serial entrepreneur, in an article for Fast Company.

By encouraging employees to share what they’re working on with their colleagues, they’ll feel they’re communicating, too. You can do this through lunch and learns, seminars and employee spotlights.

4. Ask for feedback, and be willing to give it.

Send out surveys regularly to explore how employees feel about the communications they receive. You might ask:

  • Are you satisfied with how much you understand about the company’s overall goals and trajectory?
  • Do you feel you can safely voice issues and concerns to company leaders?
  • Would you say you get too many emails from company leaders, not enough, or the right amount?
  • What do you wish you knew that leaders do not currently share?

Additionally, give feedback on how employees communicate with one another. Even though 75 percent of employers say that teamwork and collaboration are “very important,” only 18 percent of employees are given evaluations about their communication skills.

5. Encourage sharing on social media.

Social media can be a landmine for employees. They worry about sharing the wrong things and are not sure what to share to boost the organization’s reputation. Many innovative companies are making it easy for employees to share on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Sharing on social media not only increases general visibility of your brand, but it also encourages employees to communicate as they normally would with friends and family. In this way, it makes it easier to talk about your industry in a public forum.

A version of this post first appeared on Dynamic Signal’s blog.

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