Communication within any organisation serves as a channel or network that links parts of the organisation together.
Much of the communication that occurs in an organisation is informal and uncontrollable, other communications are structured and intentional and carefully planned. Even not actively communicating on a topic says a lot! If you are not actively communicating on a regular basis, your staff will – even if they have to make it up.
Who needs what?
Staff need to know the direction of the organisation, how they can engage and participate and need feedback – on the progress being made. Examples of employee communications include:
Intranet, website, newsletters, emails, memos, notice boards, staff magazine, blogs, employee forums.
It is said that there are 12 steps required for an effective internal communications strategy and plan:
- Employee focused communications must be led from the top.
- Consistency in message is vital.
- Charismatic yet natural and planned communications are more effective.
- Communication via the line manager is preferred and more effective.
- Employee communications are not optional extras, they are part of business as usual and should be planned and budgeted for as such.
- There must be integration between internal and external communications.
- Timing is critical.
- The tone of any communication is important if we want people to engage effectively.
- Keep all communication focused on the WIIFM the ‘what’s in it for me?’ factor.
- Communication is a two-way process.
- A single key theme or a couple of key themes is a means of giving coherence to a range of diverse employee communications initiatives.
- Set your standards and stick to them.
Creating your communications plan to include crisis and contingency plans can help reduce and avoid unnecessary crisis. Part of your plan may include the creation of an emergency notification cascade system. During your crisis communication planning stage, collect contact information from all employees and other key resources.