Business owners work too hard to drop the ball on communicating their mission, vision, values and tactical efforts to achieving their strategic goals. Most business owner’s do not communicate clearly enough, with enough frequency or with a multiple approaches the plans to achieving their goals. If you do not hear your change efforts come out of your employees mouth’s you will not succeed. Enjoy the post, John
“At any given time, some employees won’t see or hear a given message, so repetition is important,” Garcia wrote.
Repetitive messages don’t need to be boring, he noted. Even if the core message doesn’t change, each communication can be enhanced by a recent example or anecdote to keep the information fresh, he explained.
“Effectively leveraging social media can be a great way to stay connected with employees and create a more collaborative work environment,” according to Giselle Kovary, managing partner of n-gen People Performance Inc. and co-author ofUpgrade Now: 9 Advanced Leadership Skills (n-gen People Performance Inc., 2012). “Creating a team LinkedIn group or internal Facebook type page can be an easy and efficient way to communicate to the entire team and provide quick status updates that are relevant and timely,” she wrote SHRM Online in an e-mail interview.
Tips for Improving Employee Communication
To increase the level of connection with employees, Garcia suggested that leaders:
- Understand what matters to employees, such as their fears, concerns, hopes and expectations.
- Take those concerns seriously and be sure communications address what matters most to employees.
- Avoid the use of jargon.
- Frame the company’s priorities in ways that employees understand and can rally around.
- Remind employees regularly about company priorities.
- Establish a feedback loop to be sure employees understand what leaders are saying.
Kovary suggested that leaders:
- Refrain from changing the message multiple times. Content should remain consistent, she wrote.
- Make sure employees understand the “why.” Communicate the appropriate background information and context.
- Send a key message more than once. Use repetition with multiple mediums to increase understanding and acceptance.
- “Communicate broadly and ensure full coverage by casting a wide net,” rather than assuming that a few select employees will pass a message along.
- Avoid confusing language and jargon. “Use clear and concise language to ensure messages are accurately interpreted and understood,” she wrote.
Kovary added that leaders should manage employees’ expectations about internal communications: “By setting expectations as to how (which medium will be used), when (times, speed of response) and to whom (individual or team) communication will be provided, employees will know what to expect and how to appropriately manage communication with their manager during busy times.”
Rebecca R. Hastings, SPHR, is an online editor/manager for SHRM.