According to a Towers Watson study, companies with highly effective communication practices enjoy 47% higher total returns to shareholders compared to organizations with poor communication. Clearly effective communications improve employee morale, job satisfaction, productivity and the company bottom line.
Companies launch internal change initiatives with good intentions, but without effectively communicating the goals of the initiative and the process employees may resent changes in their day-to-day work. Clariti bring all communications to one place must be made a priority by higher management and proper tools and processes must be used to facilitate them. Here are some tools and best practices to improve internal communications.
It all starts with company culture which always starts from the top. When top executives foster an open, trusting and sharing culture, employees take note and do the same. When employees can share their feedback on work processes, customer service and other day-to-day operational aspects of their work to their managers without fear of retaliation, they become more engaged in their work. It takes time to build such a culture and communications play a big role in it. Top managers must consistently communicate core company values to drive home the point.
Living the values
Communicating values and principles only work when leaders live them. Asking people to come to work on a weekend to deliver an important release when top leaders are out golfing, sends the wrong message. Leaders must live the core values of the company every day and make them visible to the employees working for them.
While leaders foster open culture through frequent communications and live the values day-to-day, making employees accept changes still requires more work. Employees must be able to visualize the benefits that they will accrue personally through the changes advocated by their management. Employees may have to be given tangible (raise, work perks) and intangible (recognition, praise) incentives to accept the changes enthusiastically. These benefits must be clearly articulated in all internal communications related to any new initiative.
Consistency in communications
Communication should be part of your daily or weekly routine, not just for an annual information blast. Work teams need constant information, consistently shared so they are up-to-date on the company’s long and short-term objectives.
Emphasize good writing skills
In the work environment, there is a lot of emphasis on verbal communication. While verbal communications are richer especially when both people can see each other’s body language, written communications have clarity. Writing makes a person critically examine their thoughts and express them such that they are clear and unambiguous. Written communications are also important for posterity. Verbal communications don’t emphasize commitment as well as written communications do. Employees feel like someone is watching their back when communications are in writing, especially from higher management.
Develop good listening skills
Stephen Covey in his groundbreaking book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” said that one must first seek to understand, then to be understood. You can only influence others when you have a deep understanding of their needs and perspectives. To do this it is necessary to develop good listening skills. Listening is not easy. You have to keep your objections and reactions aside and learn to simply listen to the other person.
Office workers waste almost half their day in unproductive meetings. Using the right tools can reduce the time spent in meetings and make meetings productive when needed. This is especially important now where more and more teams are working remote. Tools are now available for audio, video and chat communication besides the tried and trusted emails. From the commonly used screen sharing to new technologies like augmented and virtual reality are being leveraged for remote teams to communicate and work with each other.
Unfortunately using multiple tools to communicate creates information silos. This makes it hard to find information when needed and even harder to see the big picture as everything is scattered. A new free, web-based SaaS tool called Clariti can be a big help for teams to communicate and work with each other. This tool supports email, chat, calling, sharing cloud documents, screen sharing and even social feeds, all in one app. Not only does Clariti bring all communication to one place, but also connects all related communication in TopicFolders. TopicFolders makes it easy to get organized and stay organized as it becomes the Hub for all your work.
We hope these tools and best practices will encourage more companies to evolve their internal communication to make their employees productive, stress-free and innovative in their work.