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What is the best way to communicate internally with employees?

Communicating with your employees

Make sure that two-way communication is clearly embedded into the values and performance management of the organisation.

October 14, 2013 12:11 by

By David Robert, CEO of Great Place To Work ® Gulf

Communication is the glue that binds great organisations together, but when done poorly, it can drive distrust and disengagement. How information flows through an organisation and who is visibly seen sharing important updates are indicative of the calibre of an organisation’s culture.

When thinking about your company’s internal communications, follow these best practises to ensure that your employees not only understand what is going on, but also feel that they are part of the discussion.

Make two-way communication a priority for everyone

Make sure that two-way communication is clearly embedded into the values and performance management of the organisation. It’s one thing to intend to improve your internal communication, but it’s another to cement effective communication into the DNA of a company. Try not to fall into the trap of delegating internal communications to a specific person or department. Leaders at every level must lead by example. It’s not some of you all of the time or all of you some of the time, it’s all of you all of the time.

Make communications timely, informative and accessible

More is not necessarily better when it comes to internal communications. Instead, find ways to share information through the most appropriate channel. Few employees will want to read about mission-critical information via the company’s intranet site. Others would rather hear those updates directly from the senior management and have an opportunity to react and respond to the information. Remember, it’s not what you do, but how you do it that separates good companies from great ones.

Avoid the ‘open door policy’

Most companies claim to have an open door policy, allowing employees access to senior leadership to ask questions or voice concerns. From our experience, most open door policies aren’t open at all. Employees must battle administrative assistants, busy executive calendars and physical barriers (ie offices in different locations or on separate floors) to get a chance to meet their senior leaders. Move away from this passive approach to a more proactive one. Go to the employees; don’t wait for them to come to you. In great workplaces, senior leaders are routinely seen walking through the office, sitting in the cafeteria at lunch and engaging employees in an attempt to learn more about their interests and challenges, and to share important updates.

Make information ‘sticky’

Advertising professionals have been employing this technique for decades in an attempt to grab the attention of customers in a market that is full of communication “noise”. The same principle applies to internal communications as well. Try to find creative ways to share important information that your employees will identify with and remember. You can’t assume that just because the information is available that it’s absorbed.

Follow the above recommendations and you’ll have employees who feel informed, engaged and inspired to commit fully and reach their full potential.

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