Communication is vital to the success of any company. Press releases, blogs, social media, and all other forms of external communication can help share your company’s message, but effective internal communication is the building block of employee retention.
So much of your effort in the area of communication is focused on customer experience, but the employee’s experience is important as well. If you put time and energy into reinforcing positive, open internal communication, you can accomplish a lot of important objectives, including:
- Avoiding miscommunication
- Promoting successes
- Obtaining new ideas
Take time to check in with your employees frequently. You can do this without a ton of extra effort, with simple emails or perhaps contests or opinion polls that can really help employees to feel included. For example, your HR department could implement a program that will help to ensure employees understand their benefits by using quizzes with small prizes. Engagement like this will help to avoid miscommunication, and you can eliminate yet another bland, lengthy email that no one will open. You can be confident that your employees are now better informed.
Research consistently shows that recognition of hard work and success is one of the most important aspects of employee satisfaction. Share your people’s successes unabashedly, using multiple online tools like LinkedIn and your website, to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to see these wins. Oversharing should never be a concern. Employees and customers will be grateful to learn more at a consistent pace, rather than a flood of information all at once.
A tried-and-true tool for employee engagement is the suggestion box. You can still use an actual physical box if it works for you, or you can set up an email for that purpose. As things start to transition back to in-person operation, making sure your employees feel listened to will help to reinforce that sense of community—so address suggestions in a timely manner.
If your company shifted to a largely work-from-home operation during the pandemic, it might take some time to get your internal communications back up to speed. This will be a tough transition for some, so keep a focus on developing a healthy work/life balance in this new reality. And, of course, don’t forget to recognize the essential employees who had to keep working in person throughout the past year.
Be sure to take small steps that fit your company’s comfort level and can be managed by your team. This is not intended to overwhelm or stress anyone on staff; rather, it should help avoid miscommunications and mistakes.
Internal communications can be from leadership to employees, as well as from employees to leadership. There is a lot to learn from employees in every department, and there will always be areas for improvement. Mistakes will be made, of course, but it doesn’t hurt to try new ways of communicating!
Keeping communication lines open and ensuring reciprocal communication rather than just disseminating information shows respect and gratitude for everyone in the company and the work they put in every day.