There are different interconnected issues that you need to tend to when promoting your internal communications plan – one of which is your organizational climate and culture. This means that in order for your strategy to be effective, your workplace has to be an environment wherein communication is not only expected, it is accepted and promoted. When your workplace is closed and when it discourages its work staff from having a voice, communication efforts will prove to be futile – no matter how well-formulated or well-thought out they are.
In order to truly foster an effective and efficient internal communications plan, the first and foremost step any company must take is to establish an organization climate and culture that is open and allows for the free flow of ideas and information in all directions and from all positions. This means that while managers and team leaders are, of course, encouraged to give their own thoughts and ideas, so are the rest of the workforce. Each and every member of the company has a right to speak, to be heard and to be listened to and to be acknowledged with respect.
An organizational climate and culture that encourages the integration of an internal communications plan is one that:
1. Promotes the idea of practicing what one preaches.
In order for an organization to be truly open and receptive, those who speak of this openness should be able to practice what they preach. They themselves should be open by being active listeners, and by responding in a timely manner to the queries, suggestions and complaints of their staff. Everyone in the company has to be consistently treated like valuable members of the team, and they have to be treated like they and their ideas matter.
2. Urges for equal treatment.
Regardless of their gender, age, time with and position in the company, make sure to treat everyone equally. This means that no matter how you feel about any individual in a personally, you have to treat every person fairly and justly. Without fairness, an internal communications plan won’t be deemed effective.
3. Pushes for the need for sensitivity when it comes to communication styles.
Communication styles differ, and they are influenced by people’s varying backgrounds and abilities. There are general standards which need to be set when it comes to such things as respect, of course; but remember that while some may have an easy time when it comes to communicating with others, other people may have difficulties when it comes to interaction and speaking. Leaders need to set the precedence that if anyone feels uncomfortable or offended, they should feel free and empowered to speak up.
4. Upholds cultural sensitivity.
Cultural sensitivity has to do with respecting each other’s racial background, ethnicity, religious beliefs and others. The workplace is now global, and many companies employ workers from varying backgrounds. This then requires companies to be sensitive to the needs and the assumptions of its workers – no matter the culture. Companies are required to respect and even promote diversity, breaking off from the notion that those who are different are the “other”.
5. Allows information to flow from all directions.
Employees who are well-informed are engaged employees. Companies should make sure that their staff members have immediate access to the things that affect and interest them. Systems and networks should be set up to make sure that the information employees need gets to them, and that information is able to travel in all directions. For example, while smaller companies find regular weekly meetings to be enough to disseminate information, larger corporations may opt for internal newsletters to inform their employees of important news and updates.