Internal Communication – Key Topics
It is critical for business leaders to regularly communicate key topics to all their team members. Often, team member concerns are caused by the lack of clear, concise communication. Many concerns can be perceived concerns, which are easily solved by improved communication. Conversely, regular communication on key topics can enhance productivity and team cohesiveness. In this era of rapid communication, what are the key topics that need regular communication? What is the best method and frequency of communication? Is speed or quality of communication more important? Let’s explore these topics.
After months of remote work, many team members are concerned about what direction their company is taking regarding a return to in-office work, either partially or totally. Whatever decision is taken, it is vital to explain the decision process to team members. The team must feel that they had input to the decision and what relevant issues were considered. They have to understand the decision, and explain the decision to their families, who are impacted by the decision. Productivity and safety are equally important. Many may not see or believe in the benefits of an office environment after so many months of remote working, but from an employer viewpoint, the office environment promotes improved communication, team building and training.
Whether companies are public or private, small or big, all team members need to know how the business is performing financially. The most important results to the team are those that impact their income, work environment and benefits. The post-pandemic time is generally characterized by new employee shortages and high workloads for current teammates as businesses recover. Managers should regularly explain financial results as well as any current or future hiring programs. The financial results must be presented in a way that non-financial people can grasp the essence of the results. In many cases it is best if financial results are explained to others by non-finance personnel. Expanded financial understanding is one of the most requested training programs by most managers.
We have found that regular communication about organizational functions and responsibilities is beneficial for all teammates, both new and long-term employees. Many times, new or additional assignments are communicated to those directly involved, but not to the rest of the organization; this lack of communication can reduce the efficiency of an organization. Most organizations function differently than drawn-up-on organization charts. Team members must understand their role, the impact of their role and the role of others in the organization.
Business strategy, particularly growth or right-sizing strategies, is a topic that needs to be communicated to all current teammates.
Business strategy, particularly growth or right-sizing strategies, is a topic that needs to be communicated to all current teammates. While there may be confidentiality concerns, particularly with acquisition strategies, current teammates will always be concerned about how growth strategies may directly benefit them. In greenfield projects and acquisitions, involved managers will spend less time with the current business and teammates, creating a communication void. This absence can fuel unwanted rumors and dissension amongst the team and creates a feeling of being left behind if not properly managed and communicated. Management must paint the picture about the future direction of the organization and communicate any risks associated with the strategies.
Follow-up is equally important to all communication. Follow-up ensures a more thorough comprehension of subjects.