Effective communication strategies in the workplace

Are your leaders creating a barrier to positive engagement? If your leadership team are lacking an effective communication strategy in the workplace, then your employees will be feeling disengaged and frustrated. Define your communications strategy in terms of who, what, when and why. Then build a detailed communications plan, involving every different audience in your business. Target your communications to the right people, at the right time. And don’t forget to dedicate real resources to excellent content and delivery. Read this guide to learn how to implement a comprehensive leadership communication strategy for your business.

Leadership communication has a vital role to play in the levels of employee engagement in modern business. Employees that feel disconnected from management decisions are far more likely to report low levels of trust in leadership. This contributes to poor motivation and lack of belief in corporate strategies. Embedding effective communication strategies in the workplace is essential in displaying trust, commitment and respect to employees. Does your leadership team have a proven, established communication process? Read this guide to learn how to implement a comprehensive leadership communication strategy for your business.

Four key elements of an effective communications strategy

It is essential, in planning your strategy, to determine the answers to four questions:

  • Who do you need to communicate with?
  • What messages do you need to deliver?
  • When do you want to communicate?
  • Why is communicating important?

The answers to these questions may not be straightforward, but they focus your strategy around purpose, message and individualisation. All vital for a successful communication strategy.

To define a process that will resolve any issues regarding leadership communication, you will need to consider all of the following elements:

Define your communications approach

Communications principles: The first step is to define the principles behind your communications, to ensure they are authentic and meaningful. Two-way communication is a must-have on this list: ensure there is a feedback loop so that employees and leadership can start a dialogue.

Communications survey: A survey will help you understand where your communications are lacking at present. The questions should help you define how and when to communicate, identify current frustrations, and keep open channels that are working well. Repeat the survey annually to demonstrate your commitment to communication.

Define audiences: The right people must receive the right messages. For that reason, it is essential that you carefully define your audience groups. For each group, outline the communication purpose, message, frequency, channel, owner, and whether to inform or involve. From here, you will be able to build a substantial and detailed communications plan.

Define communication channels: Use your communication channels wisely and define how you will manage each one. Whether you are using intranet, newsletters, ad-hoc emails, social media, text, teleconference, team meeting, full department meeting or town hall - each should have a template to ensure consistency.

Regular communications plan: All of the above elements will provide you with a communications plan. There should be a reliable, regular communication method that staff can depend upon to receive important company, department and team news. You’ll need to ensure the plan comes complete with the necessary resources to create and edit content.

Ad hoc communications plan: Not all communications are planned, and some contain difficult messages. Ensure you plan for all eventualities with an ad-hoc communications process to follow in these cases.

Establish an Internal Communications team

It’s impossible for the leadership team to carry out a successful communications strategy without the accompanying communications team to support the process. As well as editing and creating content, the internal communications staff will keep the plan flowing and ensure the leadership team delivers on their commitment.

A useful consideration is the setting up of Communications Champions: to receive and disseminate messages, providing a point of contact for delivery and for feedback and questions.

Summary: establish a communication process to engage employees

When employees are part of an effective communications process, there are a number of important benefits. They feel their voices are heard; that their opinions are important in the future of the company; and that the impact on individuals of strategic decisions is taken seriously. All of this contributes to a deeper belief in and connection to brand strategy and values, which positively impacts the bottom line.

The most effective communications strategies in the workplace focus on providing the right message, to the appropriate audience, in a timely way, using the most impactful channel. Your business cannot expect to have a solid communications process in place without careful consideration of each of these elements. Your internal communications team can support your strategies and ensure your efforts are successful.


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