One of the first things to consider when thinking about communicating with your employees is that what you are sending must be clear and consistent. If your employees know what sort of things your communication is likely to contain, and it is consistent with the style they are used to for your company, they will already have a level of understanding that will help them be receptive to the message and engaged on some level.
The types and frequency of communication that you share with your employees could be vastly different depending on how your team works. Currently, a lot of teams are working virtually which comes with its own set of challenges, so ensuring that the information sent is clear and consistent is more important than ever. In a face-to-face setting, it is easy to gather teams together for a quick meeting to share information, but this becomes much harder when teams are working remotely. One way to approach this would be to send out a daily or weekly ‘briefing’ type email to your employees with everything that they need to know regarding remote working, organisational policy, or news.
When communicating this way though, it is essential to avoid sending too many emails or communications. In the same way, your employees would get frustrated with being called to a meeting every few hours, they can get equally frustrated with multiple emails of communications which can quickly lead to disengagement.
Another good way to create more engagement with your communications is to open up a two-way or multi-directional dialogue system. By empowering your employees to open up a dialogue with more senior staff and each other they automatically feel more ownership over the communication and information therein so their baseline engagement is higher.
Choosing the channel for messages can be a key factor in engaging your employees. If your chosen method is very one-sided such as a presentation to all your employees or a briefing it can be hard to ensure engagement, although depending on the message this may be the most effective and necessary form of communication. Open dialogue forums generally foster higher engagement, but they are not appropriate for all communications.
When looking at any communications program, it is important to assess its effectiveness, and this will give you more information on how your employees are feeling about it, and allow you to make changes to your communications to keep improving engagement.
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