What’s the best way to communicate to employees? If this seems like a deceptively straightforward question, that’s because it is. Easy to ask, but much harder to answer.
Here’s the bottom line: every company is different. A highly digital approach may effectively connect virtually-based employees, such as those in professional services who are constantly on the road and access company information remotely. But, that same approach might prove a huge waste of resources in a manufacturing environment where employees don’t have access to computers. Similarly, relying heavily on managers to cascade information might not work if a company doesn’t have a robust process in place to support managers as communicators.
A good first step to creating a best-fit internal communications strategy is conducting an internal communications audit. In a new case study from our Employee Engagement group (below), we examine a recent audit completed for a global animal health company, where we identified three key steps organizations can take when reviewing their internal communications channels:
- Examine any existing research to help uncover any trends, themes or gaps that may inform the overall research approach.
- Collect primary quantitative research through use of surveys to gather any measureable data to help benchmark and track progress.
- Conduct primary qualitative research through a series of structured, facilitated conversations to understand the “why” behind quantitative research.
This holistic view helps communicators determine the most effective content and channel strategy, including whether to invest in existing vehicles or establish new ones.
Bob Bullen is a senior account supervisor in Employee Engagement.
Image by Kevin Dooley.