It is a fact that an organization’s communication strategy greatly contributes to the success of the organization. Without effective employee communication methods, companies are bound to fall behind in employee satisfaction, productivity and customer satisfaction.
Many communication tools are now available for employees to communicate with each other, with the Management, partners and customers. It involves technological resources like intranet, e-mail, phone, web conference, as well as interpersonal employee communication methods such as face-to-face interactions and social media networking.
Letters are generally used to keep in touch with customers. It conveys respect and allows people to include coupons for marketing purposes. The downside of letters is its one-way form of communication. It is not able to elicit instant feedback from the customer, therefore having the burden of ensuring the message is clearly delivered.
E-mails are among the most powerful common employee communication methods owing to its many features. People can attach documents, videos and pictures to complement their message. They can include calendar invitations for meetings and set the recurrence of the alerts. E-mails also have a sharing function wherein messages can be forwarded and sent to selected distribution lists – either to different individuals or pre-grouped individuals based on function, location or department. It is a fairly easy communication tool.
Pitfalls of e-mail abuse. However, it is in this regard that there should be caution when communicating via e-mails. E-mail abuse happens when it is used at every whim and not during important occasions thus potentially overloading inboxes of receivers. When this happens, it is possible for employees to be overwhelmed with the load of information they get and be disengaged. Important messages can remain unread and be buried under heaps of e-mails. Worst, it may lose its credibility and be forwarded to spam by the receiver.
How to communicate via e-mail effectively. Therefore, messages should be communicated in a succinct fashion and ideas summarized into one clear message prior to distributing. Discussions or planning stages must be avoided in e-mails; they should be discussed in meetings. The language used must keep the company culture especially when sent to people outside the company. Remember that employees are the brand ambassadors of the company and every action or communication coming from them is a representation of the company.
The intranet is a communication tool that must not be underrated. It is the company’s internal social platform where employees have the opportunity to share their opinions, connect to colleagues at any department, and get company information resources. They can link the intranet to the companywide newsletters, desktop alerts and screensavers for reference of employees on further information. Management can also utilize this platform to increase the engagement of employees through posting of company events in the calendar, company updates, recognizing employees who have outstandingly performed and employees who have rendered service for a long time. People have the inherent desire to feel belonged thus the community function of the intranet will engage the employees to reach out with other colleagues and know what is going on with the company.
While intranet is a powerful platform for shared communication, it is important to keep the company core and values reflected in the language. Due to its transparency, intranet can be used to harbor grapevine in the workplace. Thus, it is important to still maintain an administration that controls the output of intranet.
Unlike e-mails and intranet, mobile phones’ winning feature is its capability to send and receive information without requiring Internet. Companies can send messages to people on-the-go whenever wherever. Emergencies can be quickly attended to, and vice-versa, employees can call for assistance anytime or anywhere they need to.
Aside from the connectivity of the corporate office with the employees, mobile phones allow sales people to be in constant connection with their customers. Customers can send SMS or even call during emergencies and not rely on e-mails which can be opened at a later time. Since companies use smartphones nowadays, more functions are made available to employees even without being physically in the office.
While e-mails, mobile phones and intranet are some of the most potent communication tools in an organization, face-to-face conversation is still one of the most indispensible employee communication methods of a company. It gives way for issues to be clarified, allowing concerns to be resolved immediately. Effective face-to-face communication also saves time for subsequent communications.
Several research studies also show that employees get more engaged when they regularly talk to the Management on a one-on-one basis not just through online or written communication. Because of the human and personal interaction involved in this, confidence and trust are developed which motivates employees to performing better. In this regard, Management must optimize face-to-face communications to understanding the staff, recognizing their accomplishments and addressing their issues.