6 easy ways to help improve your internal communications
For companies battling through tough economic times, effective internal communications may not sound like a top priority. But clear and effective communication within a company, no matter what size, is vital. Get it wrong and you’ll soon have a workforce that is unsure, inefficient and struggling with motivation.
Effective communication is all about getting a clear message to the right people through the appropriate channels at the right time, whether it’s about the company’s goals and aspirations or to tell them you’re introducing a new employee benefit.
But what’s the best way to communicate with your staff?
Obviously this will depend on the situation and the size of your company. For example, a rousing, inspirational talk from the CEO about the goals and aspirations of the company, and how each and every employee can help achieve this goal might work for some. But for a small team working on a specific project, a secure social network may be the best answer.
Here’s a handy list of techie (and non-techie) ideas to get you started:
- Open door: There’s a reason why ‘we have two ears, but one mouth’ has become a cliche. Good internal communication is about listening as well as talking. Promoting an open door policy will help employees feel more able to approach their manager. Or why not push the envelope and get senior personnel to take desks on the main floor, leaving any offices for meetings?
- Social networks: Improving communication and collaboration through social technologies can help raise productivity. Social networks like Slack and Trello can help your employees collaborate no matter where they’re based.
- Intranet: the company intranet is an in-house, secure area for a wide range of useful information such as employee benefits, but you can also link to vital documents like expenses claim forms to encourage staff usage. Plus, the landing page provides the perfect medium for key messages.
- Bulletin board: Yes, it’s all very retro in these tech-smart days, but a bulletin board is still a very visible way of making sure important notices/messages are seen. Keep your health and safety info and other vital notices on it and put it where people tend to congregate, such as by the tea or coffee machine. Remember to remove old messages and change content frequently, so it doesn’t become part of the furniture.
- Meetings: With online communication so simple and capable of reaching all employees at once, it’s tempting to just sit back and press ‘send’. But don’t underestimate the importance of face-to-face communication. Standing meetings by someone’s desk or ‘break out’ areas where everyone remains standing. They’re quick, allow feedback and literally keep everyone on their toes.
You’ll know best which method(s) is likely to be the best fit for your company, but try a few and see what strikes a chord. And in the true spirit of effective and engaging internal communication, why not survey your employees to gauge its success or ask them to share their own ideas?
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