Internal communicators, consider these 5 resolutions for 2018

The new year affords us all a fresh start. Why not revisit how you engage younger employees, include staffers in message delivery and infuse a little humor into your processes?

The start of a year is a perfect opportunity for renewed optimism, evolution and growth.

Review what’s working well for your internal communications and what ought to be implemented to streamline and improve your processes.

The nature of communication is continually changing, driven by shifting user behavior. Here are some ideas to make your communications for 2018 more effective:

1. Facilitate better manager communications.

Manager credibility is essential to your workplace. Ensuring that your organization’s managers communicate strongly can increase productivity and financial performance.

An innovative manager understands how the workplace environment is changing and growing, as well as how to implement systems that will enhance communication.

Technology is rapidly advancing, and tools are becoming increasingly available for every kind of problem solving. The overwhelming variety of options can be confusing, and it is important your managers get solid support and training.

Ensure your managers understand the importance of strong communication skills and are shown how to use new tools to decrease confusion, increase engagement and achieve optimal results.

2. Add communication tools that appeal to a younger workforce.

The use of email is in decline, especially in workforces with a high concentration of younger employees. The new year might just be the right time to look at expanding your toolset.

With employees opening their inboxes to find an average of 120 emails every day, important updates and announcements—including critical updates or emergencies—can be easily overlooked.

Younger workers in particular have a decreasing attention span. They are best reached with communications of a similar nature to the ones they use regularly for social means. Short messages or alerts can connect with them at their desk or get sent to their mobile devices if they are on the move. Emails are much less likely to be effective for this demographic and are often set aside to be read “later on,” which might never come.

3. Don’t be so serious.

It’s important to remain professional, but a sense of humor goes a long way in building rapport. It’s been shown to improve company culture, alleviate tension between co-workers, and improve the delivery of serious and complex messages.

Laughter helps people connect, and studies have proven that a happier workplace can boost employee productivity by up to 12 percent. Companies such as Laughology teach that adding humor to internal communications can measurably improve their results.

Communications with a sprinkling of humor at the right time can help employees connect and add a human touch to messages that come from management levels.

Add personality to your content, and try to create engaging communications that your employees will look forward to reading and discussing. This will lead to a richer company culture and a working environment that people take pride in.

4. Pursue employee-fronted communications.

Peer-to-peer communication helps deliver important messages, driving engagement and promoting the feeling that all staffers are valued and included. That builds credibility within your workplace and can address issues of power balance, especially if your employees are tired of seeing presentations only from the executive suite or outsiders.

Your employees have varying strengths and talents. Consider having staff create content and deliver video messages. Some might be great with communicating facts and logic, and others may excel at storytelling and analogies, but chances are your staffers can convey a wide range of internal messages that are interesting, relevant and engaging to their peers.

That can help ensure your messages are delivered with an authentic voice and received with greater success. The opportunity for peer-to-peer communications also gives your employees a sense of value and empowerment.

5. Prioritize transparency and inclusivity.

Everyone within a workplace needs to feel there is a system for two-way communication that is transparent and available to them. Make sure your company has clear processes in place to facilitate internal communications from employees to management.

Managers should encourage employees to share problems and pursue solutions. This helps foster trust and improves relationships between employees and leaders.

For 2018, start investigating ways that you can break out of your patterns to energize and improve your communications as determined by the needs of your employees. Ensure your managers have the technology and support they require to communicate effectively to your entire workforce, and consider including members of your staff in your message delivery so you can develop a richer, more connected company culture in the new year.

Susan Bowden is marketing manager at SnapComms, a leading software provider of employee communication channels.

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