January 23, 2023
3 Tips for Crystal Clear Internal Communications
A new year brings new challenges and new opportunities for businesses of all types, and effective, clear internal communication is critical to meeting both with success.
Here are my top three tips for ensuring crystal clear internal communications:
- Keep it simple and direct.Use bite-sized messages and plain, approachable language. Prioritize timely, relevant information over messages that are too perfectly polished and full of corporate speak or jargon. Whether a message is written, in video or another format, brevity is also key to getting your meaning across to a busy audience. Above all, be specific and direct about what you want the audience to know and do – and why they should care.
- Know your audience.Always communicate with your audience’s needs and perspective in mind. Messages should clearly tell employees what you want them to know and do, and why it should matter to them. Don’t underestimate the power of WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) to connect with and motivate your audience.Make the most of opportunities for two-way communication to listen to employee needs and preferences. This could be through polling, surveys, focus groups, and conversations with managers to get a sense of what is on employees’ minds as well as their communication preferences. The better you understand what employees are thinking, the more effectively you can communicate with them.
- Be consistent.We often hear of instances wherein a message was conveyed once and then checked off the list, only to have leaders confused later when employees don’t seem to have grasped the message. Repetition is important. I counsel leaders that when you feel you’ve said the same thing too much, you’ve probably just started to say it enough for it to sink in. A good rule of thumb is that a piece of content should be used 5 times, which typically means using it across different channels and audiences. Develop a thoughtfully planned cadence to ensure key messages are emphasized consistently over time across channels and voices, signaling their importance.Another key aspect of consistency is to ensure the message employees are hearing aligns with what they are experiencing. If there’s a disconnect, the words will be dismissed and the leader's credibility damaged.
Follow these three tips to make sure your messages resonate clearly with employees in the year ahead, no matter the situation or topic.
Which of these tips would make the greatest positive difference for you?
Whatever your communication needs, use these 7 steps (and free template) as your step-by-step guide as you develop your internal communications plan:
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