HR leaders play an important role in developing a positive and productive company culture. As I’m sure you can imagine, this is no small task. Especially because there are so many factors that go into company culture, from leadership style to company values and policies. One of the most important aspects of culture that often gets overlooked is communication in the workplace. It’s important to remember that a happy employee is an informed employee. All companies, no matter what size, need a solid internal communications strategy, but it can be hard to determine what to communicate and how (especially with the evolution of digital communication). Here are some thoughts to get you started.
What should you be communicating?
Internal communication has the opportunity to boost productivity and collaboration. With the proper communication channels in place, ideas can come from everywhere, not just leadership or HR. But, how do you know if your company is communicating the most effective information to its employees? After all, there is such a thing as communication overload. While that is a discussion that needs to take place within your organization, these are some of the most important points everyone should be on the same page about:
Your strategy will be more effective and cohesive with everyone working towards the same objectives. Informed employees may also experience an increase in productivity and engagement by having a more defined purpose.
Important metrics & KPIs
Sharing business metrics with the whole organization creates a culture of openness that helps leadership gain trust and accountability. Taking other perspectives into account when defining your strategic KPIs is important as well.
News and announcements
Your employees are brand representatives who can help with word-of-mouth marketing. By providing information about the latest product updates or company events, you are providing talking points for employees to share with their friends and family.
Core values and principles
If you think your company can get by with just a section on your website that communicates your core values, think again! If these values are really important to the company, they should be prioritized and communicated in a variety of different ways so employees can see that there is a strong connection between what the company says and does.
How should you be communicating?
Workplace communication is constantly evolving in the digital age. It’s hard to think of a time when email didn’t rule business communication. Even crazier – some reports have come out predicting that email will become obsolete in a few years. There’s already been a decrease in use thanks to social media and texting, but email still has some very practical uses that other products currently on the market are unable to compete with. It’s certainly possible that superior digital communication technologies will emerge in the near future, but for now, these are some of the best ways to communicate within an organization:
Internal newsletters are important for any organization – big or small. They are a great way to highlight individual and department achievements, share news updates, and reinforce company values.
Dashboards are a fun and engaging way to communicate live data with everyone. Colorful, interactive, and customizable charts and graphs make data easier to understand and learn from so employees can see how their performance directly affects company goals.
Project management software
Tools like Asana and Trello help employees stay on top of their responsibilities and see what their teammates are working on. Managers can assign projects and tasks directly in the platforms and get a clear view of the progress.
Instant messaging apps
Apps like Microsoft Teams or Slack make it easy to communicate with a group, without having to remember to click that pesky “reply all” button on an email. Instant messaging also lends itself to quicker, more informal messages that can end up saving a lot of time.
Author: Samantha Marsh is the Marketing Content Coordinator for iDashboards, a data visualization software company on a mission to transform traditional reporting into engaging, meaningful dashboards. Outside of work, she enjoys playing golf, listening to podcasts, and cheering on the Wolverines at the Big House.