Some of your organization’s biggest cheerleaders come from within: employees and volunteers. Imagine what they might say to customers and prospects. Do they understand your latest initiative? Can they provide accurate answers to important questions?
Help them be more effective at spreading your organization’s message with an internal communications strategy.
- Who, what, when, where, and how. Develop a plan to cover the basic questions for your internal communications program. Let’s say you’re launching a new logo. One way to get the word out might be an official memo from leadership. The memo would define when the logo is scheduled to launch, who is responsible for making sure it’s put into use, and whom to contact with questions.
- Redundancy. Consistently sharing news via multiple channels such as meetings, company newsletters, internal social media, is essential to help employees and volunteers genuinely understand your message.
- Don’t leave anyone out, or at the very least, don’t accidentally forget to include key individuals. When propagating important company information, consider distributing to all employees and/or volunteers. Everyone loves to hear the latest scoop. It helps them feel included and builds a culture of trust and inclusively. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting someone who needs to know. This creates animosity. Plus, you may not know who your loudest advocate or detractor may be.
- Make a plan in advance of a crisis. Communicating during a crisis doesn’t need to be a crisis in itself. Prepare your distribution list in advance. Create a way to categorize these messages. One way can be through subject lines if using email. For mass emails, I typically start the subject line with one or two words that summarize the nature of the message. Some good ones are INFORMATION, URGENT, FEEDBACK REQUESTED, and TIME SENSITIVE followed by a colon and the actual subject. Here’s an example: URGENT: The North Las Vegas office has closed due to a gas leak.
- Create a mechanism for feedback. Your internal team may have burning questions they aren’t sure if they can ask safely without looking like a fool or causing issues. Create an environment where staff can ask questions to clarify your message further as they work to interpret what it means to them. Also, consider conducting truly anonymous surveys annually. Questions might include: I feel appreciated for my work with an agree/disagree scale.
- Fun gatherings. At least once a year, host a fun activity your team can do together. As part of the event, address your group and thank them for their service. The gathering can be as simple as a company potluck or writing holiday cards to service members to a night of bowling with employees and their families. We spend so much time at work, enjoying the company of those you work with can be more important than the work itself.
If you need help developing regular internal communications or training a trusted employee to build your plan, we’re here to help!