Communication isn’t static: Once sparked, it can move in any direction. Your internal communication strategy has to give that initial flame room to breathe and grow. But doing this well has become more complicated in a hybrid working world.
We recently partnered with RedThread Research to discover what the shift to hybrid work means for connection. We learned that we need to consider three tiers of connection as we revamp our internal comms strategies.
One of the most common layers of employee communication is one-on-one communication between managers and employees. Closely related is communication by employees with their colleagues. To make sure communication within teams is effective, managers need upfront conversations about the group’s norms and expectations. For teams to use communication software to prioritize information access and sharing, everyone needs alignment on how and when to use each channel.
When managers understand their communication options, they can guide their teams in making the most of each channel. While nearly every employee has access to email, for instance, that probably isn’t the best way to send urgent communications. Your organization probably has channels that deliver push notifications, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, text messages or other chat-style channels. Those tend to be the best channels for questions that need a quick response.
Teams have more flexibility in how they deliver comms that aren’t timely, like notices of upcoming time off. A communication platform that integrates with your favorite communication channels can give your people more options for how and where they receive general information
Scheduled communication is yet another form of one-on-one communication within teams. Examples include regular check-ins between managers and employees, as well as notices from managers that are triggered within an individual’s workflow.
Communicating across teams is another form of internal connection.
Cross-training, mentorship, and other programs designed to connect people with folks outside their inner circles can greatly impact engagement. Peer meetings between managers from different teams can illuminate what’s happening in other parts of the organization, for instance. Those connections and insights can spark ideas that managers can bring back to their teams.
Organizations have many internal, cross-team programs that are voluntary and easy to access — but lack of awareness is a problem. Fix that by being where this information lives in your communication platform and by using the platform itself to promote these opportunities. Make it easy for employees to receive alerts — in their channel of choice — to learn more about what’s happening within the company.
With the Organization as a Whole
Connection with the organization — to its mission, vision, values and purpose — is one of the biggest influences on employee engagement. This is where the employer branding and marketing piece of your comms strategy can really shine.
Using your communication platform to deliver targeted content at key points in the employee journey (like onboarding) can help your people connect with your larger purpose and to see their role in bringing the vision to life.