5 tips to improve internal communications

From plotting an overall strategy to soliciting candid feedback, these tactics will get and keep everyone on your team on the same page.

Putting together a strong team means getting disparate personalities to communicate.

Getting the right level of engagement and excitement from all your players can be difficult. You must establish a plan that gets everyone on the same page and fully invested.

Here are five ways to improve internal communications with your team:

1. Create a strategy. You won’t know whether you’re improving if you don’t know where you stand or what you are working on.

Start by analyzing what you are already doing as part of your communications plan and considering what could be improved upon. What channels are you using most heavily? Which team members are actively communicating, and who is struggling to respond in a timely way?

You also must identify your goals and how you will determine success or failure. Be specific. A good strategy keep you on track and give you a starting point for improvements.

2. Implement smart tools. Consider which methods of communication are going to be efficient and convenient for your team.

Establish guidelines in your HR communications strategy, such as whether you will pay for employee mobile plans if you expect them to use those devices for communication. Make sure you identify whether intranet software, forums, email, texting or another format is best for most of your online communications.

Establish cloud hosting for your company to hold all your important shared communications, documents, images and content for easier accessibility.

3. Don’t be all business. Avoid making internal communication a constant drag.

A 2013 PGi survey found that most (88 percent) of your younger employees want to be in a “fun and social” work environment. Productivity doesn’t have to exclude entertainment. Include random facts, fun stories, best viral videos or other tidbits in your communication that will increase employee engagement and boost morale.

4. Measure your results. You will see significant improvement only if you can measure what you are doing.

Quantify your communications performance to see how employees are connecting with your organization and getting their information. If you can use analytics and metric dashboards that can benchmark engagement. Measure your engagement levels now, and then compare them in a few months after implementing a new strategy and establishing specific goals.

Metrics signs can be placed throughout the workplace to help draw awareness to areas where your team may struggle, such as time gaps between callbacks or percentage of newsletter emails opened within 24 hours.

5. Facilitate honest feedback. Your team members won’t be candid unless they feel safe from bosses’ blowback.

Whether you use an anonymous system or strictly prohibit retribution, making your feedback process honest is the only way you can get more internal eyes looking to improve the system. Not only do your employees want the freedom to express their ideas, but they also must find it easy to do so. Provide channels that are easy for your team to use.

Ken Rhie is CEO of Trumpia. A version of this post first appeared on interact-intranet.com.

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