Is your company not meeting its annual targets? Have you noticed that your staff has been failing to hit your unit’s monthly goals? Then it appears that an uninspired workforce is slowing down your firm’s growth. Don’t let the lethargy affect other people in your company. You can start engaging your colleagues by communicating better with them.
Internal communicators are tasked not only to spread information on s policies and developments that can affect the organization, from the senior management down to the rank-and-file. Along with human resource executives, they are often responsible for communicating with employees, addressing their needs and wants so that they can become more engaged and enthusiastic with their work.
If senior management has noticed that personnel are not as engaged as they need to be at the workplace, then it is up to the internal communications unit to take the lead in communicating with employees.
If you are a business communicator tasked to implement a corporate communications program, here are some tips that you can employ in communicating with employees:
1. Make Communication A Priority
Communicating with employees should be a consistent priority of the organization. Thus communication programs require a long-term focus, and should never be short-lived initiatives.
Companies must establish multiple venues that would enable the employees to receive information from their leaders. Virtual town hall meetings, for instance, are recommended for companies with remote offices. Quarterly call-ins may also be instituted. Management should actively seek employee feedback through surveys and focus group discussions.
The CEO, for instance, can send weekly correspondence addressed to the entire organization. He or she can talk about important topics for the business, such as a new IT program to be rolled out, or an upcoming event like a product launch. This also gives the top honcho the opportunity to connect and engage with the entire organization.
Communication is a continuous process. Your organization must remain in touch with the employees in both the good times and bad times. As such, the leaders of the company should be as eager sharing the bad news as they are in spreading the good news. If executives are candid in sharing the unfortunate news, then the good news they would share in the future even becomes more credible.
2. Communicate Through Various Platforms
Company leaders must use multiple platforms to effectively communicate with the rest of the organization. Conventional means of communication may range from company newsletters, emails, and even one-on-one discussions. More contemporary methods of communication include video conferencing and social media.
Many of the top firms today have CEOs who maintain social media accounts. This way, executives can reach out to their employees better as tweets and Facebook posts can be immediately seen and shared. Of course, social media can also enable these leaders to communicate the company’s goals to the external public.
3. Maintain Open Lines Between Employees and Executives
Effective communication will only happen when the bosses maintain open and direct lines with all the staff. Companies can foster an environment that promotes open communication lines by assigning office hours where employees can meet directly with their leaders or organizing webinars that can train and educate personnel who are assigned in remote offices. You can also draft weekly messages from the senior management team that would focus on a myriad of topics like monthly sales targets.
4. Implement Workable Employee Suggestions
Many companies say they listen to their employees, but most of these are only lip service. When you solicit opinions from your colleagues, persuade management to listen to and implement those suggestions. Employee satisfaction won’t improve at all if the rank-and-file see that their leaders don’t use any of their feedbacks. But when the big bosses implement ideas generated by the staff, the personnel receive a clear message that the management hears and values their voices.
5. Company Leaders Should Always Be Visible
Employees will appreciate it better if they can see their leaders at the workplace, instead of seeing them only on certain events or via the Intranet. Encourage members of the senior management team, particularly the CEO, to be more visible at the workplace. This also gives the big boss the opportunity to interact with and get feedback from the rest of the organization.
Having your bosses more visible to the employees can also further emphasize face-to-face communication. While most employees today are used to interacting with their colleagues or superiors through video conferencing, it still pales in comparison with human interaction. Staff members are still humans who would appreciate hearing the news and information straight from their bosses.
Like in any other initiative at the workplace, it is the senior management which will have to set the tone in initiating a culture of open communication at your office. Being visible and accessible should be a good start towards achieving that goal.
These are five practical tips that you can follow as a business communicator if you want to improve the way management is communicating with employees.