by Ian Cowley, managing director of www.cartridgesave.co.uk
As your company grows and your workforce increases, it is vital that you have a robust internal comms strategy in place. All your employees should feel they can speak with ease to members of their team, as well as their senior managers.
Miscommunication at home or in social situations can easily lead to arguments; in the workplace the repercussions can be far more severe – unmotivated employees, unsure of what the future may hold and ultimately a high turnover of staff. You’ve put the effort into attracting and training the best staff, now you want them to stay.
We faced this problem at cartridgesave.co.uk. While senior management had a clear idea about our goals and the company’s vision, this wasn’t being communicated to our employees and in whilst business boomed, company morale suffered. To rectify the situation, we changed our internal comms strategy to improve employee motivation and galvanize our workforce.
Here are three tips that worked for us:
Unify your workforce under one roof.
We made the decision to move our entire workforce to one base of operation. While this won’t be possible for everyone, this was one of the best changes we made to boost team morale and increase communication throughout the company. Previously, our management team operated from a bright, new shiny office that we believed would impress visitors and help recruit new staff. What we didn’t appreciate is that this can leave other areas of the business feeling isolated and undervalued.
Splitting you workforce between two buildings only creates barriers within your company. By physically unifying your employees it becomes much easier to see things from two perspectives and act fairly. What’s more, people will be able to communicate face-to-face more, as opposed to phones and emails, decreasing the chances of misunderstandings.
The effort you put into your company newsletter reflects how much you care about your employees. Simply drafting some copy and sending it out to your internal group email is unlikely to engage your employees and the majority probably won’t read it. It is worthwhile taking some time to create content that people find interesting and relevant to them.
When compiling your newsletter, make sure you don’t neglect any departments. Ask all your department heads to write short sections on news from their areas of the business. By seeing their own work mentioned in a shared newsletter, employees will feel a greater sense of recognition for their hard work. We have a section called ‘by the workforce, for the workforce’, where any member of the staff can share their own big news.
So that all areas of the business feel invested in the company’s performance, we’ve also incorporated a section with our key performance indicators and a quick update on how we’re progressing. It’s a sign to everyone, from the bottom up, we are all part of the one team working towards the same goals.
Always ask for employee feedback.
Once you’ve put all this time and effort into opening up communication you need to know how well it’s working. We have introduced a weekly survey for our team so they have the ability to anonymously rate how happy they feel in their job and leave suggestions on how they think we can improve. There are several free online tools that can do the work for you saving a lot of time.
As this will be the first chance for many people to air their grievances, initially you may be presented with a lot of disgruntled employees and outpourings of grief. Remember, that this stage is necessary on the path to improving employee happiness and team spirit.
Getting your internal communications strategy right is directly related to your effectiveness and profitability. How much is really quantifiable is a difficult thing to know for sure, but we strongly believe that a happy and cared for workforce are more productive and more loyal.