Develop a Communication Strategy
The first steps is to get a group of employee in a room and develop a strategy for how the organization will communicate with employees. This team should think through and define a process and purpose for better business communication management.
This will require considering who needs to know what information, when they need to know it, and how it will be delivered to them. This strategy will help to create a standard for organizational communication.
Create a Communication Process
As with most things in business having a defined process – that is owned by someone – is the best way to ensure consistent communication. This can be as simple as the secretary who takes meeting notes, sending a copy of the notes to a central communication person and that person is responsible for sharing it with all employees.
I know that is overly simplified, but it can be an effective and practical step in the process.
Multiply the Message
Over-communicate the message and use every available forum – email, newsletter, bulletin boards, business website, intranet, social media, staff meetings, town hall meetings, text messaging, or video delivery. The more often the message is communicated the better
chance that employees will absorb it and remember it.
Explain the Why
Often leaders come up with a great idea, plan it, implement it, and may even communicate it, but they may not think to explain why a particular initiative makes sense for any given time.
This requires communicating from the 50,000 foot level and making sure employees understand why something is done and how it supports business goals and organizational strategy.
Create Feedback Process
It’s important that employees have a forum to offer feedback and ask questions. This helps to ensure that the message was received as it was intended. These feedback sessions can be done in staff meetings or an online employee forum.
Regardless of the structure or process, employees need to feel like their thoughts and opinions are heard. This process also helps the organization identify areas that can be improved upon.
Employees spend a great deal of their lives on the job and helping them stay connected to the mission and vision of the organization is one of the ways to foster employee engagement. The more we can do to keep employees in the loop, the better we can manage the rumor mill and the hurt feelings that come when employees feel like they’re not in the loop.
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