Employee communication might be one of the most under rated marketing and promotional tools available to companies. When it comes time to sell a product or service, most companies think about sales materials, advertising, special events and so forth. But it’s easy to forget that the strongest ambassadors for your brand are literally right under your roof.
Here’s a thought – don’t just think about your employees in terms of their titles and job descriptions. Think of them also as an army of spokespeople when they’re at lunch with friends or mingling at parties, for example.
But first things first. Before you convert personnel into evangelists, you’ll need a good foundation established for effective communication. Here are five questions to ask that should give you some insight about your employee communication strategy:
- Do we have a sufficient number of delivery channels? How do you communicate with employees today? Assemble everyone in the conference room? Send out an email? Put a printed newsletter on their desk? In our personal lives, we all consume information in a variety of ways. Internal communication for a company is no different so be sure to have a variety of ways to send out messages and use them all regularly.
- Do we communicate early AND often? The day you open a new location or launch a new product is a bad time to announce that to your employees. Develop a culture that fosters early communication about new initiatives and projects, followed by timely and relevant updates.
- How involved is our senior management team in the process? Don’t be modest. Employees like hearing from the CEO and other executives. Look for ways to involve senior leadership in communication, whether that means short video addresses or “news style” quotes from management in the employee newsletter.
- Do we ask employees for feedback? Communication works best when it’s a two-way street. Employee input shouldn’t stop with an annual survey. Find ways to actively engage with employees throughout the year about the general direction of the company and its objectives as well as priority projects.
- Can our employees articulate management’s top priorities? This is the big one. Imagine yourself talking to a friend at dinner party or at a little league game. Your job usually comes up in conversation. No matter what level within the company an employee might be, we should all be able to give a good elevator speech about how the company is doing and where it’s going. But your employees won’t know what to say unless you tell them so be sure your internal communication program is strong.