As leaders, one important strategy for communicating through the noise is to have a communications plan. Taking time to identify key messages, audiences, and delivery methods will help you to make your important points and to hear what others have to say.
Research from the GuideSpark HR firm showed that organizations continue to use traditional communication methods: 75% use email, 63% use print materials, and 46% use live meetings. At the same time employees, particularly millennials, are asking for communications they can access on mobile devices (44%) and less complex messages that are easier to understand (56%).
The company has created a brief guide with ten tips for creating employee communication strategies. Tips included:
- Create a theme. As I mentioned last time, our IT vice chancellor used a “going to the clouds” theme for the recent software upgrade. It gave employees an easy way to remember and track the messages.
- Put employees at the center. Focus on what employees need to know to understand what’s in it for them. If you’re not sure what that is, consider holding focus groups to learn more about their needs.
- Use multiple channels. As Anita mentioned last week, think about communicating eight times in eight different ways.
- Focus on the key points to be sure your message is short, relevant, personal, targeted to the right people, and includes a call to action.
- Leverage technology, such as creating employee groups on FaceBook or providing mobile links to key communications.
- Pay attention to results, so you can promote what is working well.
What are your go-to communication strategies? What other options can you include to strengthen the message?
Dee Anne Bonebright