For the rest of April, I’ll be continuing our skills building series in which I discuss different techniques, trends and tips in specific communications functions. This week I’ll be focusing on employee communications and best practices for 2016 according to a terrific article by Edelman’s Amy Kot. Kot, a Senior Vice President of Employee Engagement, wrote an article that details three resolutions for internal communications, which I’ll share here.
Ask yourself: what do my employees want?
Work to deliver content that is interesting, engaging, helpful, and accessible to your employees. Their attention is spread thin, so you’ll want to do everything you can on your end to ensure its effectiveness. Using apps and news portals on smartphones is one important way of doing this. Kot advises keeping content “short, snackable, and visual.” This means “short-form articles, videos, infographics, listicles, and Buzzfeed-style quizzes are more engaging than traditional intranet articles.” Keeping it interactive, like making it a contest in the office, or getting employees involved through “citizen journalist” initiatives that get employees contributing content, means that your employees will be more invested.
Don’t bombard with information
As any communications professional knows, email inbox management is a constant challenge. Avoid contributing to this issue by filtering and prioritizing content. Make emails easy-to-read; include bullet points with takeaways so everyone can digest the information quickly. Consider creating a rubric of message prioritization, from routine communication like staffing announcements and IT updates to CEO communications. Unify your communications team and minimize the channels of communication, and your employees will thank you.
Make all-company meetings painless
Get input from employees on what they’d like to talk about. “Instead of dictating the agenda in a vacuum, use a virtual voting tool to ask employees which topics should be a part of the program.” Kot also recommends giving some materials out in advance to introduce themes and pose questions beforehand. Put the emphasis on the people in the room instead of the CEO and keep meetings under two hours. Lastly, ask for feedback on how the meetings are working for others. “Assess and adjust” to revolutionize communications meetings.
Next week, we’ll look to crisis communications.
Chaloner, founded in 1979 as Chaloner Associates, is a national executive search firm that focuses on recruiting mid- to senior-level communications, public relations, marketing and investor relations professionals.