A healthy New Year’s resolution for any company is to improve internal communication.
More consistent, transparent communication often leads to increased employee engagement, which is rocket fuel for improved business outcomes.
Here are seven ways to bolster your internal communication efforts in the coming year:
1. Share your goals and plan.
Your company probably has a mission statement, vision, strategy and goals for the near future. Make sure your communication initiatives and objectives align with larger company goals.
Every year, your communication goals should be evaluated and tweaked based on the past year—and based on any organizational pivots that may have occurred. Evaluate these changes, alter your plan as needed, and share your plan broadly. Re-share your communication plan every few months to remind everyone of key objectives and to monitor progress.
2. Provide insights and data.
If you want more buy-in, share statistics and metrics to back your claims. Whenever possible, provide tangible results to encourage and motivate your team.
Don’t limit yourself to internal data. Chase down and compile available numbers from competitors and industry titans to see how your efforts measure up. Take the time to analyze industry research and growing trends, and use those insights to fuel your own initiatives.
3. Suggest different communication channels and methods.
It’s important to standardize channels and platforms, but try to get communication flowing in different forums that cater to specific preferences. Create welcoming spaces—online and around the office—that tout companywide news, provide project updates and make it easy to discreetly offer opinions.
Consider hosting a Q&A on your intranet, creating a companywide networking event or launching a forum for meeting with other departments. Prioritize more visual forms of communication.
4. Give employees a call to action.
Every marketing piece worth its weight has a specific, clear call to action. Internal communication efforts should have calls to action as well.
What is it you want colleagues to do in response to your message? Lead with the crux of your message, and make it easy for people to take the desired action.
5. Encourage constant learning.
Leaders who offer growth opportunities can expect higher levels of employee engagement. Communicators should champion opportunities to learn new skills.
Seek out helpful webinars, conferences, master classes and network events that might be helpful for employees’ career growth.
6. Be honest and transparent.
The greater the understanding that employees have about the company’s direction, expectations, objectives and goals, the easier it is for them to do their jobs. Everyone appreciates being kept in the loop—and having a clear target to shoot for.
7. Ask for opinions and suggestions.
Employee feedback can be a goldmine of insight. Workers are the ones who will tell you like it really is, but you must offer platforms that facilitate candid opinions.
Ask for feedback in many forms. Conduct small focus groups, send out anonymous survey forms and hold one-on-one meetings. Then, of course, act on those opinions and suggestions. Everyone wants to be heard.
As the year ends, take time to celebrate your accomplishments, but be honest with yourself when looking toward the future. Were any initiatives a bust? What was a waste of time? What do your colleagues appreciate, and what do they ignore?
Don’t continue doing things just because you’ve always done them. Consider your company’s goals, and build your strategy around them. You have more power than you think. You hold the keys to a better, more collaborative workplace.