All business owners and executives want to build a highly engaged workforce of efficient, energized and loyal employees, but that’s easier said than done. While many leaders search for quick fixes, we understand that the key to unlocking increased productivity and a thriving team-oriented culture is more time-honored than trendy – the key is to improve your internal communications.
If you’re concerned because communication isn’t your strongest-suit, you’re not alone. Communication skills are learned. Just like sales techniques or time management strategies, communication is a tool you can develop through leadership development training and by continuing to educate yourself (with articles like this!).
While we can’t teach you everything you need to know in one blog post, we can get you started down the right path. Here are our “Top 5 Tips for Improving Internal Communications in Your Business.”
#1 – Engage New Hires
Set the expectation for stellar communication practices from the very start. During the onboarding processes, new hires are immersed in your internal communications – creating a powerful opportunity for establishing the right communication habits. Consider partnering new employees with company ambassadors and check in on them regularly, even if it’s only for a 30-second conversation. By showing new hires that even top executives are interested in their wellbeing, you’re being a good leader and a good communicator. For more tips, read our post: Essential Employee Engagement Techniques for New Hires.
#2 – Be Consistent
Effective internal communications is based on trust – trust that employees won’t be punished for sharing their thoughts (when done properly); trust that the same rules apply to everyone; trust that company leaders will be consistent in their behaviors. When it comes to internal communications, being predictable is a good thing. So, set company-wide standards and maintain them. Encourage employees to engage in discussions, but also put resources into teaching more effective communication techniques.
#3 – Listen Closely
It’s not accidental that great leaders are also great listeners. Arguably, the most important step in learning to be a highly effective communicator is learning to be an engaged listener. For tips on developing this skill, read our post: 5 Steps to Improve Your Listening Skills & Leadership Effectiveness.
#4 – Give Feedback
Many business leaders find it challenging to provide feedback to their employees, but it is an essential step in the internal communications process. Productive feedback empowers the employee to grow, and it communicates that the company’s leadership is invested in each employee’s success. Work with your management team to develop a consistent process for providing both informal and formal feedback – and be sure to recognize great work in real time.
#5 – Be Transparent
Especially in times of change, transparency alleviates concerns and increases buy-in for changes in staff, structure, policies, etc. When employees understand the ‘why’ behind the decisions in their business, they are able to feel like they’re a part of the bigger vision – and you’re able to be the influential leader that motivates and inspires.
Craft a Strategy for Improving Your Internal Communications
At FocalPoint Canada, we guide our clients in overcoming challenges and leveraging opportunities with proven processes and methodologies that have been used by thousands of successful businesses over the past two decades. Our FocalPoint business coaches use their expertise to teach our time-tested methods through individual coaching, group sessions, or trainings and workshops.