With so much of the focus these days being placed on a company’s external messaging, it can be easy to lose focus on your internal communications with employees. The fact is, even excellent ideas don’t amount to much if you can’t communicate the finer points of them to your team.
Here are some tips for effective internal communications.
Nothing tests people’s attention spans like a rambling, long-winded speech. If you’ve got a point to make, communicate it to your team with clear, declarative language, and save the pomp for your memoirs.
Set a Good Example
Good communication starts at the top. If a team leader isn’t open and accessible, odds are their employees won’t be either. Set the tone for your team early, and make sure that they know they can come to you if they have questions.
Know Your Audience
Managers often need to communicate with different audiences within the same organization. What resonates for one group, might not necessarily work for another. Make sure you’re relaying the right message to the right group, and you’ll avoid confusion down the line.
Don’t be Afraid to Repeat Yourself
Many people need to hear a message more than once to fully understand it. Don’t be afraid to restate your point if you think it will help your team understand. You can use multiple channels to do this. Communicate the same message in writing, in meetings, and face-to-face, and keep it consistent.
As a manager, it is always better for your employees to hear something from you, rather than someone else. If you have a sensitive message to relay to your team, do it as soon as possible.
If you have to relay a piece of bad news to your team, be honest and candid when you do. Doing this will lend weight to your message when it comes time for you deliver good news.
Face-to-Face Communications are Key
Today’s employees are more tech-savvy than ever before. Email and instant messaging allow for quick effective communications within a group, but nothing beats face-to-face interactions for driving a complicated message home. When you absolutely, positively have to drive home a point, do it with a face-to-face conversation.
Be sure not to spin or politicize any of your internal communications. Let the facts speak for themselves, and don’t assume how your team members should feel about the news you are delivering.
Plan out Your Communications
Editorial calendars aren’t just for external communications and content creation, they can also help immensely with your internal messaging. Developing a checklist of what you need to say will help streamline your communications and raise efficiency.
Say “Thank You”
Employees that feel appreciated for what they do are much more likely to be active and engaged with the task at hand. Showing appreciation for a job well done can be one of the best tools in your arsenal as a manager.
Don’t Cut Corners
Where internal communications are concerned, it doesn’t pay to take the easy way out. You owe it to yourself and your team to give it your full effort when delivering a message. Anything less than your best could result in decreased effectiveness.