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8 internal communications tips to help you stay in touch with your team
From employee satisfaction surveys to out-of-office notifications, these communication tips can help your staff feel heard and valued.
Hyperconnected and stressed: That’s the state of work for both employees and employers. Seventy percent of owners report more stress now than a year ago, and one-third of employees say they have both more stress and a higher workload than at the same time in 2021.
One thing that can help? More effective employee internal communications. If you’re listening—really listening—to what your employees are saying, you may help boost trust, satisfaction, productivity, and staff retention. These 8 ideas can help you get started.
1. Talk to your team.
Consistency matters, as does variety. For example, maybe once a month you hold a town hall with both in-person and virtual options as well as a Q&A time. Every other week, maybe it’s a small team check in. You can also fill in the gaps with emails when there’s big news, a crisis that needs addressing, or holidays to recognize.
2. Establish internal communications standards for everyone.
Ever tried to reach out to someone who forgot to set an automatic out-of-office email notice? It’s frustrating. Poor comms interactions like that cost teams more than seven hours a week of productivity. Set expectations such as vacation notifications that help to boost transparency and reduce confusion. Utilize a collaboration platform such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Facebook Workplace, or establish a weekly email that employees can rely on for the latest updates and milestones.
3. Welcome employee feedback (even if it’s anonymous).
Simple online tools or employee satisfaction surveys work (the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has several employer options). Intranet or internal messaging options do too, as long as you’ve designated someone to monitor and maintain control in case disputes become distracting or exhibit signs of abusive behavior.
4. Respond to that feedback.
Your employees notice if you respond to positive feedback but ignore concerns. That doesn’t mean you have to respond to every question in a meeting, but it does mean you need standards (see tip No. 2) in place to provide answers as soon as possible. Another idea for a bigger workforce? Encourage employees to reach out to direct supervisors who can then quickly handle all reasonable concerns.
5. Ask managers to set their own internal communication goals.
Speaking of good delegation: You can’t do everything a growing business requires. That’s why you hire good employees. And it’s the same with internal communications. Set up some standards for managers, such as regular email touch bases or even in-person meetings of their own. And grant them the flexibility to do what works for their team.
6. Encourage employee-to-employee communications, too.
Small teams have their own dynamic. Maybe they meet for coffee once a week. Or perhaps they send a team email when they’ve finished a big project. Not only can you encourage those ideas, you can also share them with other teams as examples of what’s working.
7. Use internal communications to help employees learn more (which helps you with staff retention).
It can be hard to navigate the ins and outs of a company, and even harder still if an employee is new or fully remote. Regularly use your employee communications to highlight or explain resources you offer. For example, the Principal Well-Being Index found 19% of employees didn’t know whether their employer offered an employee assistance program, or EAP. An employee communications solution could be a “benefits highlight” email every other month, reminding employees how to get more out of what you offer.
8. Rely on your communications to connect and lead.
You may not always have the answers. But you can use your communication with your employees to do something more important: connect, lead, and empathize. Responding to concerns and staying honest about the limits of what you know or can act on help your employees realize their well-being really is your concern.
- What does your company need to support every employee? Principal has ideas for taking care of the people who work for you and your communities.
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This article is intended to be educational in nature and is not intended to be taken as a recommendation.