Change is constant and not always easy. From introducing a new company policy to navigating change on a larger scale like COVID-19, keeping employees informed and engaged is essential to the success of your organization. Ashley Fettig, SVP - Communications Director, shares advice on how to effectively communicate throughout times of change.
Provide clear and concise messaging.
When there is a lot of important information to share, clear and concise communication is key. Aside from the amount of time it takes to read lengthy emails, longer messages often lose effectiveness by leaving employees responsible for filtering through unnecessary information. Choose your words carefully and keep your messaging short.
Communicate often and effectively.
Whether sharing important information or simply providing a reassuring message, employees like to stay in the know. Remember: There is a fine line between communicating and communicating effectively. When crafting your message, ask yourself who your audience is and what really needs to be shared. Should the information be targeted to a certain group or does it apply to all employees? Asking these important questions and targeting your messages appropriately will ensure that your messages are reaching those who truly need it. This will also help your employees trust that when they receive an email from your company, it’s relevant and applicable to them.
Be as transparent as possible.
Your employees are the face of your company and essential to your brand. Equipping them with the specific details they need to understand and act on can help your company succeed. On the contrary, providing misleading or inaccurate messages can create frustration and confusion among employees, and even affect morale.
Streamline your communication channels and standardize your messaging style.
With many communication channels available, it’s important to find what works best for your company. Be sure your employees know how you will be communicating with them, and use the same channel(s) every time. Consistency is crucial. It’s also beneficial to use a template or standard formatting style for your messages, so your employees recognize and read them.
Place communications in a central location.
By storing related messages in a centralized location, such as your company’s intranet, employees will have a quick reference point and you can rest easy knowing they have the most current information.
Provide words of praise and affirmation, and mean them.
Change can be scary and stressful for many employees, and a simple “thank you” or “great job” can go a long way. When praising your employees for a job well done, be sure you are genuine and authentic. Share exactly what they did that deserves recognition and explain why it was so beneficial to your company.
Get creative and have some fun.
Who doesn’t like to laugh? Communication is an essential part of our daily lives, especially during times of change, but that doesn’t mean it has to be simple and boring. Look for ways to insert fun content into your communications when appropriate to bring attention to your message and keep your employees engaged.