If you're an employer who claims to communicate well with your employees, you might want to check with them first. Your definition of effective communication may differ drastically from those of your employees.
Quick questions to ask yourself: Do your employees engage actively in conversations? Do you have workplace mentors to initiate effective internal communication? Have you recommended two-way mentoring to your employees? Does mentoring tackle other complex human resource challenges in your organization? If not, it’s time to take another look at your company!
Effective internal communication programs are the life and blood of any successful company. But unfortunately, the truth is that a majority of companies spend millions of dollars on their external communication plans, while failing to create an effective mentoring strategy to improve internal communication.
The famous Gallup study highlights the disappointing state of organizations worldwide with only 13 percent of employees engaged at work. Another study by Towers Watson claim that companies with the most effective employee communication had 48 percent higher shareholder returns over the last five years as compared to those with the least effective internal communication.
Well-meaning staff and proper mentoring tactics positively influence employee engagement by generating ideas, forging strong relationships, and making a real difference in your organization’s growth.
Consider the below practices to engender good communication amongst employees in your organization:
One-way mentoring: Mentors can make a huge difference in improving internal communication between the ranks. Mentoring is a great vehicle for value-sharing and knowledge transfer from senior members to associates seeking to move up.
Two-way mentoring: This advanced form of mentoring is a win-win situation in which older employees share their experience and expertise while the younger ones give insights on engaging with their generation and the new times, technologies, and perspectives.
Create a culture of initiating meaningful conversations: Try to be transparent and straightforward in explaining the challenges faced by your business. Not only does this promote transparency and trust between the employer and the employee, but it also fosters dialogues and conversations at lower levels in your organization.
Engaging employees with the right story: Before initiating any meaningful communication, you need to create an open space for your employees and prepare their minds to welcome something new. Storytelling can be a great way to get the employees’ attention. Rather than talking about something that is important to you or to the organization, tell a relevant story using an example that matters to them.
Update your employees regularly: If you want your employees to build trust in you and your organization during rough patches, you have to earn their trust. This is possible through a strong relationship. Remember: relationships are like checking accounts - in order to make a withdrawal, you first need to make a deposit. Build a great bond with your employees by keeping them updated about all the ups and downs that your organization is going through. This will help them understand the challenges better and maybe inspire them to come up with innovative solutions to tackle those challenges.
Take the help of technology: Choose your vehicle depending upon the desired outcome and the target audience. While some companies use intranets, others use Yammer or Ning, and some prefer simple email messaging.
Feedback goes both ways: Encourage your employees to comment and ask questions. Grab this opportunity to answer them in an open and honest manner. Whether you hold it in an old-fashioned town hall meeting, a question box, or organize a Skype conference, employees expect a chance to ask you questions and to be answered. Through this, you can initiate a better two-way conversation.
Brainstorm: Create a fun space where team members can think outside the box to voice their ideas without the fear of rejection. Keep a record of those ideas, and decide how to use them in future to improve the internal communication in your organization.
Looking for more tips on effective communication? Seek the help of expert mentors within the MentorCloud network. Engage with the right people and foster meaningful collaboration in your organization, then tell us what you found the most effective!