Communication (in other words, what you say, how you say it, when you say it, and who you say it to) can shape how employees feel and think about their workplace. Effective communication leaves employees feeling excited and ready to excel at life, their relationships, their work, and everything really.
According to a Harris Poll:
- Employees who felt their company effectively communicated information of value to them were more than twice as likely to rate their company’s reputation as good compared to those who didn’t feel they received effective communication (76% vs. 36%, respectively).
- Similarly, employees with effective communicators were more likely to believe the best years are ahead for their employer (75% vs. 47%, respectively).
An optimistic outlook (made possible through the effective communication) can translate into positive people, upbeat work environments and superior work products – wins for everyone (utilities/cities, employees, and customers).
You must consider several key elements if you are to be effective with your communication, including:
- Audience – Make sure you’re communicating to the right people. Sometimes, this will mean all employees. Other times, it could be specific groups.
- Timing – Figure out when you need to communicate so employees are more likely to tune in. Take into account the day of the week, time of day, and job responsibilities.
- Message – Be sure you know exactly what you want employees to know and stick to one message at a time so you don’t overwhelm people with too much information.
- Clarity – Use simple, direct communication and include a call to action (i.e., what you want employees to do).
- Concise – Deliver messages as thoroughly, but as briefly as possible. Don’t waste your employees’ time.
- Language – Use words and phrases employees can understand and relate to, not jargon.
- Tone – Talk or write how you would tell a friend or loved one in a casual conversation.
- Channels – Determine which channel(s) you’ll use – print (newsletters, tip sheets, posters, etc.) and electronic (emails, texts, intranet/blog, video, social media private group, etc.)
Communication done right can supercharge your organization – making employees happy, healthy, and bringing their best selves to work. You’ll likely need to invest some time and energy to make communication be all it can be, but fortunately, communication usually isn’t expensive if you’re committed and creative.