|Effective Internal Communication for Employees|
|Written by Abel Nyarangi|
|Tuesday, 19 June 2012 04:57|
There comes a time you may have difficult to communicate to the employees. This is usually the case when bad news must be passed to them. The best way to do this is by doing it the “bandage way removal”. This means that you make your internal communication swiftly and completely.
The way you cope and how both your business and the employees cope during the tough times is just but a reflection of your business character. Your values are reflected on how you communicate during the difficult moments. Sometimes it is natural that you may have to duck or even run for a cover when things are getting worse, but as you must have been taught by your parents, it is time to stand up and face the music.
Having an effective internal communication strategy is an ideal way of handling the bad news to your staff. There is a need to have regular employee briefings, informing them of the current situations, what is happening in the industry and also about the competition. You also need to inform them about the company’s plan on the information that is being pulled to a given direction. If you keep them abreast all the day long, then they will not feel blindfolded.For internal communication to be effective there is a need to have also integrated communication in the same sense. It is the role of the Pr manager to have a plan to be used to disseminate information concerning bad news. It should be carefully be plotted and executed in every step. Every message must be crafted well. The timing should be appropriate. The ways which you intend to use in communicating should as well be effective and you should be conversant with them.
There is a need to ensure that your management team has adequate information, so as to follow the potentially and shocked employees. No matter what the news are, it is your role too pass them the employees in the right manner that cannot cause havoc to your business.
If the situation involves financial losses, it is important to note that people are likely to stop listening after the first shock. They therefore need to roll back on the details with their immediate supervisors on the details.
Having an effective internal communication strategy calls for tough preparations in making difficult news announcements. You need to craft the key messages and also prepare for the possible questions that may rise and their suggested answers. This is the same criterion that is used in meetings, speeches, interviews and media. A brainstorming session is quite necessary with the senior management as it uncovers the worst-case scenarios and also play a key role on how you can handle the things as they unfold. During this time you should not avoid any issue. It is not a time to pretend that there is nobody who knows exactly where the bodies were buried.
For integrated communications, it is a good idea to tell each and everything you know and in a very fast way. We all understand that nowadays news is even travelling faster than the light. Indeed that is great. The internet and mobile phones are braving the stuff. Innuendo and gossip are also quickly filling that information vacuum that you have left.
With internal communication applications, it is the same as the telling a large group of people in person. This offers them an opportunity to offer human expression to the news. No matter it is encouragement, empathy, sympathy or comfort, they are likely to form an impression of the leadership you are likely to have. Speaking them face to face greatly adds the human dimension. When the people have forgotten what you said, they will actual recall how you made them feel.
It is time to impart the difficult news with the gravity it carries. There is no need to minimize it; it is no time to dismiss the fears or even speculation. It is not a time to make jokes around. You need to think to the situation of handling the news of the death. We all understand that if a job of a person is at stake, then it is likely to be a life-or-death situation experience.
One of the roles of internal communication is to have peopled whom to vent. Consider this case: “I will never forget the face of the CEO who stood up before 50 employees in a branch plant he was closing. He told them why and when it would happen and then he answered their questions. He stood at the door and shook each employee's hand as they left. It was a draining, difficult experience, but they respected him for
The criterion can be applied when re-organizing the staff and eliminating some positions. In this case you should offer more support to the employees in their transition to the other employment. It is also time to inform the remaining staff on the positions available and off course what you are doing.
You need to ensure about the tough news which you have announced should also be available in a written form. This is so because, people would like to refer to the day they left their workplaces and its likely that they may not recall all that was said in the speech. You can also put the material on your website or on the internal communication platform. It is important to recall that the information will be public as soon as you release it. In this case you need to be careful with your words.
It is vital to ensure that the employees, stakeholders and shareholders are aware of the news before the media. Nothing is so disenfranchising and disheartening as finding out you lost your job because of the headline on the front page of this morning's newspaper. It is a betrayal of your employees' trust and makes your organization look inept at best and unscrupulous at worst.
Tell everyone the same story. Don't embellish or minimize or put a 'spin' or different emphasis on it in anyway for anyone. Stick to the facts and you won't have to remember anything else. As Mark Twain said, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything