7 Ways to Improve Your Companies Internal Communication
Good internal communication is an often overlooked part of a companies communication strategy.
Employees need to feel like they are an integral part of the business, that their opinions are heard, and they have forums where they can share ideas with management.
An effective internal communication plan can also help your external communications as happy employees will frequently advocate for the company on public and social platforms.
Here are 7 ways to improve employee communication for better engagement in your organization.
Start by providing a quality onboarding process for every employee.
Besides the interview process, the onboarding process is what gives your employees their first impression of the company.
It is a great opportunity to showcase your company’s culture, values, and mission.
You can do this by providing training or resources for them, but more important is that the company needs to exhibit the culture and values every day.
Spend some time proving an orientation to the building, the technology used (email, intranet), and the people they will be interacting with.
Provide Communication Channels
Provide resources for internal feedback or reporting – this might include an employee suggestion box, a digital forum where people can post their ideas, and survey responses that management reviews periodically.
Too many channels can confuse, so pick the best one that is most useful and convenient for the employees.
They should have the option to leave comments both anonymously and with their name.
Managers should be available to answer questions and provide feedback on concerns that employees might have with internal communication at any time.
Project Management Tools
COVID has forced many to use online management tools that were not previously using them.
These tools can be useful both in the office and out.
They provide the ability to update all employees on company news, internal communications that may affect their work environment, and any upcoming projects or events.
They can also be used as an internal communication tool for projects teams who are scattered across different locations.
The other benefit is that it helps those that are typically introverted to participate more and your introverts can provide some incredibly useful feedback.
Counseling does not have to always be bad, in fact, if you do it regularly it can be a useful tool to provide feedback, gain insight and spend some time one-to-one with an employee.
If you don’t already have one, create a standardized form for everyone in the company and then pick the frequency (monthly, quarterly, annually).
Counseling should include both positives and negatives so that the employee hears what they are perceived to be doing well and where they need to improve.
If you do this regularly for all employees, it also ensures that you are not singling out anyone only for negative counseling.
Praise in Public, Criticize in Private
Many of us get so busy, that we often forget to provide positive feedback to those that deserve it.
When your employees do well, make sure to praise them in public.
This can be done formally like an employee of the month program, or it can be informal and as simple as a comment in a meeting recognizing a person for a job well done.
When they need to be criticized, make sure to do it in private.
No one wants to be criticized in public and if the effect is to get the employee to improve, typically a closed-door session between a supervisor and an employee will work best.
Surveys are easy to conduct and provide a way for management to get feedback from their employees.
It is easy to write up questions in advance, send them out digitally, or schedule times with different groups of people at work such as IT staff, receptionists, etc., so that they can answer the survey.
Some surveys can be for attribution, but some need to be anonymous to achieve the desired effect.
Once you have the results, don’t be afraid of sharing the results with the employees.
By doing this, you showing them that you value the feedback and then set a plan to fix any issues identified.
Act on Feedback
No matter what the forum is (communication channels, project management tools, counseling, surveys), be sure to act on the valuable feedback received.
Acting on valuable feedback tells the employees that you value their input and are matching deeds to your own words.
Showing employees that they are a part of the process and a part of the larger team will help keep them as active participants and help improve the internal work, resulting in a better product for your customers and clients.
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