A big part of reputation management is stakeholder communication, and that includes employees. So how do you implement a sound communication strategy for your employees? In this article, we share tips that go into creating an effective employee communication strategy.
Why does employee communication matter?
Most businesses are worried about defining the right approach when communicating with clients and vendors – outward facing stakeholders. For this, you’d often develop a strong business communication strategy. But what about internal communication? What about the people that live and breathe your business from the inside?
Internal communication involves engaging employees by communicating business goals that help them carry out their activities for better results.
You can achieve business communication objectives with a better internal communications plan that lays out the steps that every employee should take. You must communicate business rules and methods for interacting with their constituents, employees, stakeholders, community members, and more to help them become successful in their endeavors.
Ensure that your employee communication remains consistent, precise, and warm. This is more important if you have teams working remotely and seeking connection with peers in a meaningful way.
Here are seven tips that help enhance your outcomes when creating an effective employee communication strategy. Let us check those out.
1. Implement a feedback mechanism
If you are serious about open communication in the workplace, you need managers and top-tier executives to hear the thoughts and ideas of those at the lower rung.
Also, you can formalize the feedback process by using employee engagement and feedback applications that make it possible to collect employee input regularly. Such tools are awesome for getting team members to open up and gather quantitative data from the entire team. But this does not mean you can write off informal feedback.
For instance, you can ask your team — "how do you feel about these new campaign ideas?" while walking between meetings or at the beginning of a conference call. This sends the message loud and clear that you value their opinions and are open to hearing what they think.
2. Delegate key personnel to reinforce communication
No matter the size of the business, it is almost impossible for business owners to manage all essential employee contact. Therefore, it becomes important to keep a close eye on manager feedback and ensure they have the necessary support, resources, and confidence to lead their teams.
You can assign duties to reinforce communication to a certain section of managers who navigate ordinary business activities and listen.
Pay attention to your employee's worries and inquiries, and ensure that they know what is expected. This way, you also get to know some personal issues your employees are dealing with.
3. Leverage communication tools
Most organizations worked out of office space before the Covid pandemic hit in early 2020. This required organizations to redefine their communication approach that demanded implementing a change management process. Therefore, all organizations that survived the worst of the pandemic had a strong emphasis on remote communication, collaboration, and employee engagement.
When you are thinking of implementing an organization-wide communication policy, there are tools that you can adopt.
Let us check those:
- Lifesize – You can use this cloud-based video conferencing service on personal devices or integrate it into conference rooms. It can provide quick face-to-face contact with distant team members using Ultra High-Definition content sharing thanks to the realistic 4K picture quality.
- Monday – Implementing an effective communication policy would mean your key personnel using the Monday tool to plan, organize, and monitor the team's activities and progress in a single, visible, and collaborative environment.
- Slack – Your employee communication strategy can include Slack (or Microsoft Teams) as an instant messaging and meeting platform. Both are fast and efficient platforms for team communication that make way for informal communication with GIF integrations and custom channels.
4. Organize team-building sessions
Get the best out of each employee by organizing team-building sessions. These sessions should be fun, allowing employees to open up with each other and even to their bosses. Such exercises can significantly influence your team's productivity and collaboration since they feel a sense of belonging and camaraderie.
Your team sessions can include team lunch, group meetings, icebreaker games, fitness sessions, or outdoor activities. This will help your employees to let loose and be themselves as you informally communicate to know more about them.
5. Send personalized messages
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to interacting with teams that are scattered geographically. No way you can engage your staff by simply sending bland newsletters.
Providing your staff with too much (and often irrelevant) information may overwork them. This is where personalization comes in.
Especially if you are a big organization, follow up generic announcements with a can personalize content for each team or individual (with their name) explaining how they benefit from it.
As workforces become more distributed, you won't interact with one internal audience but multiple employees across different teams. Therefore, personalizing your communications to your workers' requirements and interests and where they have located and the languages they speak adds value to the conversation.
6. Keep employees in the know
Research by IBM revealed that 80% of workers felt more engaged when they got regular messaging regarding their company’s fundamental values and objectives. This shows that a business that acts and communicates can substantially influence employee engagement.
The goal is to communicate all the key business information by removing technological restrictions that may stop employees from gaining knowledge. When needed, they can access and read the message at their convenience once they access information.
The best way is to blend offline and online communications if your business follows a hybrid work model. Your on-site team and remote employees will stay informed of what is going on. Any major change in the policies, new business updates, employee performance awards, etc., should be highlighted across teams.
7. Meet employees regularly
Nothing can beat in-person talks that can mostly happen in the office. Frequently meeting your team can boost communication and cooperation. Such meetings can be informal, like watercooler breaks or a shoulder tap while on the desk. If your remote team is unavailable, you can choose a video conference call that allows everyone to meet virtually.
When you meet them personally, managers can observe facial expressions and body language, allowing everyone to comprehend what is being said and how employees react completely. Such meetings result in fruitful communication that will have employees discussing different ideas sharing different perspectives, and bringing in necessary dynamism.
Every employee will have a unique way of expressing themselves. As a business leader, you must be considerate and use correct tactics to ensure your formal and informal communications bind everyone within the organization.
When you have a strong employee communication plan in place, overall productivity will rise. This approach will strengthen your workplace communication, allowing employees to collaborate better and faster with the right techniques.
Using communication techniques that promote open communication and cooperation can cultivate a culture of engaged, efficient, and inventive workers. And it is the kind of team that can take your business forward.