Your company cannot operate at peak efficiency unless internal communications are optimised. Yet many companies pay little attention to the state of their communications with employees. Here are seven tips for improving your company’s internal communications.
- Implement a social intranet : If it does not already exist, your company should implement social intranet software. This is any interactive software that can expedite work processes and/or facilitate administrative procedures. Employees appreciate the ability to do more online using integrated applications. Also, such software can be used to invite employee comments and suggestions.
- Institute regular check-in meetings with subordinates : If you are a manager, you may feel that the business meetings on various topics that are attended by subordinates give them sufficient access to you. Think again. A meeting called to discuss a new product or a change to a business process does not serve the same purpose as a one-on-one opportunity to raise concerns with you. Therefore it’s advisable to schedule regular meetings with all your subordinates to allow them to speak their minds.
- Distribute a printed newsletter : A newsletter in hard copy form is decidedly “old school” in this era of online communications. Nevertheless, a printed newsletter that can be dropped on every employee’s desk is an effective way to disseminate certain kinds of news. Employees can always ignore online publications, but a hard copy publication is harder to ignore. Such a newsletter is an effective way to communicate corporate news or to hype a new product or initiative.
- Schedule a staff retreat: A staff retreat is a great opportunity for your workforce to meet at an off-site location and focus on one big project or business problem. The time away from the office facilitates the development of strong working relationships. And the scheduled downtime (meals and evenings) provides an opportunity for employees to get to know each other better.
- Institute an open-door policy : This is a practice that is often talked about but seldom implemented! Understandably, it’s tough for a manager to get his or her tasks done on time when subordinates are permitted to interrupt at any time to raise concerns or ask questions. Obviously, this requires a manager who is energetic and able to switch quickly from one task to another. If you are such an individual, implementing an open-door policy is a wonderful way to put your subordinates at ease.
- Use teleconferencing and video-conferencing : These technologies can be used to include employees who are working remotely in office meetings or informal gatherings. Hearing the individual’s voice and seeing his or her face helps to build relationships and facilitate effective communications.
- Provide minutes of meetings online: Inattention or difficulty in comprehension can result in ineffective communication of the contents of meetings. Therefore it is very useful if clear notes (minutes) are taken and subsequently posted online. This allows both those who participated and other employees to review what happened at a meeting,
Improved internal communications benefit a company in many ways. Morale is bolstered and business processes are expedited. These tips should help the management of any company to improve internal communications.