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Five steps to better employee communications

Views 1 Views    Comments 0 Comments    Share Share    Posted 12-05-2009  
1. Write like a newspaper story. If you have read a lot of newspapers like I have, you know the basic format: a concise title, the most pertinent information in the first few lines and the details to follow. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve seen an employee communication start with an explanation and justification before delivering the news.

2. Simplify everything. Don’t use $64 words. Don’t use corporate speak. Imagine you have an employee that just started and was reading the comunication that you send out and format it appropriately. Again, people that are just looking for answers will drop off after they get the information they want so you can use more words to explain if needed to avoid corporate speak.

3. Don’t lie and don’t spin. I think this is a good idea regardless of what you’re doing but I think it is incredibly important in employee communication. If you are going to spin your way to a positive message or lie about anything, despin and tell the truth or don’t send anything out. Your employees deserve the truth from you and if you can’t deliver that, you shouldn’t deliver a bad message that people assume is true (or worse, they assume it is false because you’ve lied and spun before).

4. Use a contact person for your employees that question everything. Employees should be clear that they can speak to the contact person if they have any questions. Often times, these are the same people every time that question everything and always have way more questions than everyone else. A contact person can save you from writing a novel for a couple of people that question everything.

5. Recommunicate when necessary. If your contact person is being bombarded with questions, your communication was probably inadequate. In order to effectively communicate, you have to be committed to sending out more information and admiting your original communication was inadequate. Use the same template as before in your recommunication but address the questions you have received.

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