Improving internal communications doesn’t mean everyone in the office should take an e-course on business writing. Grammar fanatics everywhere agree: it would be great if it were that simple. To see real impact in 2018, reach beyond comma usage & sentence structure to uncover gaps where employee’s efforts are duplicate & competing.
Picture this: sensitive data is encrypted in your database and access is locked down securely on your network, but your sales team is plugging confidential data into spreadsheets saved on USB drives. And, there’s an HR policy (somewhere) that doesn’t specify whether USBs are allowed – or not. Or, perhaps employees in your store follow different policies than the team who answers customer email. Incohesive gaps like this, that exist across departments, happen when we work in ‘silos’ and there’s a disconnect between operations & systems. They’re dangerous because they impact customer experience; and in some cases, increase your exposure to risk or a costly data breach.
Find new & better ways to deliver your biggest messages to the team.
Is anyone still genuinely surprised when they hear a 30-second Super Bowl commercial costs $5 million? Even when you’re doing business on a much smaller scale (most of us are), you’re spending money on advertising each year because it’s important. It’s how you convey your identity; and there’s a call to action. You’re asking people (customers) to do (buy) something. From you.
Most large-scale employee communications have a similar purpose. You’re asking people (employees) to do something: follow new procedures, take note of important changes, or join you at the summer barbeque. Only difference is, when we communicate internally most of the time we send an email and cross our fingers. There’s little flash or appeal. Pictures and videos are too big to send to the masses, there’s no time for catchy copywriting… sometimes there’s no editing involved at all. On the inside, inconsistency becomes your identity – and that seeps in – indirectly affecting operations and ultimately, customers.
Employees are customers, too.
To boost engagement and compliance, start thinking about employees the way you do customers.
- Establish a central communication channel that’s designed to handle content distribution. Collaboration platforms like Chatter from salesforce.com, Microsoft Teams, Jostle and Slack will help you improve 360′ visibility and escape from email jail that exists in most companies.
- Build an all-inclusive communication schedule that’s in line with yearly business objectives and project go-live dates – and make sure it’s flexible enough to handle on-the-spot demands (because in the real world, unforeseen things happen, and we need to roll with it when they do.) Think of your communication schedule like an advertising or marketing calendar – for employees. Stick to it, and be creative.
- Craft your biggest and most important employee messages with creativity & care. Try replacing paragraphs with multimedia & visuals that grab attention and convey meaning simply and memorably. Consider releasing information in bite-sized chunks known as ‘drips’ to build curiosity. If you’re not a graphic designer or your marketing crew is busy, try your hand at design with intuitive apps that work within your branding guidelines. There are too many out there to list, but a few we like are visual.ly, Mail Chimp & Canva.
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