Are Your Employees in the Dark?

7 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Internal Communication

Communication is a key element in the success of any organization, yet is it often the most misunderstood and neglected. I’ve seen first-hand where leaders assume that everyone understands what is happening within the company, when quite often that’s not the case. I’ve worked with businesses where the leader claims to be a great communicator, but when employees are asked to explain where the organization is going and to list issues and remedies, it’s clear that they are woefully in the dark. And when they’re in the dark, they develop their own version of reality, which can impede progress toward organizational goals and alignment and also have an adverse impact on morale.

All is not lost. Here are seven things you can do to improve your organization’s internal communication.

1. Make Yourself Visible & Accessible:

This is by far the most important element of effective internal communication and yet one where many organizations fall short. Employees want and need to see the senior leader out on the shop floor interacting with them. He/she needs to be seen as accessible, and not just as someone who sits in “The Big Office.” It’s an excellent opportunity to build that vital workforce rapport. I’ve  found that I learn more by walking the shop floor than I do sitting in my own staff meetings. Get out of your office and become engaged with your workforce.

2. Vision & Strategy:

Prepare and publish the company Vision Statement and supporting Strategic Objectives. These are essential components of getting the organization aligned and heading in the same direction.

3. All Employee Meetings:

Holding a monthly “All-Employee Meeting”  is a perfect venue in which to review and discuss:

  • Feedback as to how the company is doing relative to the Vision and Strategic Plans;
  • Updates regarding current initiatives and actions
  • A review of any applicable performance metrics
  • Rumor control
  • Upcoming events
  • New employee introductions
  • Question and answer session

4. Birthday Meetings:

Schedule monthly meetings with the senior business leader for all employees celebrating a birthday in that particular month. These low-key meetings provide:

  • An excellent forum for employees to interface with their leader in an informal setting
  • A friendly and casual atmosphere for the senior leader to get to know his/her staff’s backgrounds and experiences and
  • An opportunity for employees to ask the questions that they wouldn’t ask in a large meeting environment.

5. Company Newsletter:

This doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Published and mailed monthly to employees’ homes and include:

  • An article from the organizational leader highlighting business performance, related topics, and updates
  • A feature on a particular department, issue, or person in the company
  • Highlights of noteworthy accomplishments
  • A list of new hires, along with brief bios
  • Employee milestones
  • Calendar of upcoming events and
  • Optional photos and/or graphics for a reader-friendly appeal

6. Company Bulletin Boards:

This is another effective communication tool that can be used to display:

  • Information between monthly All-Employee Meetings
  • Positive feedback letters from customers
  • Photos of recent company events
  • Company calendar, including special events
  • Employee birthdays and
  • A place for employees to post personal items of interest to employees.

7. Hotline:

This confidential tool allows your employees to inform senior leadership, without repercussions, of any issues they may not feel comfortable bringing up in a public setting. When your employees feel they can actually effect change, they will be more invested and happier in their job which contributes to the overall health of the company.

Whether your organization is large, small, or somewhere in between, these steps can help you maximize communication with your employees. Your employees will become engaged, your business will experience an Acceleration in Performance and the return on your investment will flourish.