With the New Year quickly approaching, many begin thinking about goals and vision for the coming year. Companies are no different. The year-end is the perfect time to evaluate where you have been, where you would like to be, and exactly how to get there. A consistent goal should be improving communication practices internally. A more communicative and transparent company leads to increased employee engagement, which in turn improves business outcomes.
This cycle is not a new idea, but many companies are having trouble with employee engagement. So start at the beginning by addressing company communication practices and ideas for change.
Share your overarching goals and plan.
Your company likely has a mission statement, vision, strategy and goals for the coming months, years and beyond. Every year, these should be evaluated and altered based on the past year and any changes. Your overarching goals may need to be modified based on changes within the company or that affect your company. Evaluate these changes, alter your plan and share broadly. Re-share every few months to remind everyone of the roadmap and to help each employee recognize the value his work brings to the table.
Provide insights and data.
As improvements are made within the company, these accomplishments should be shared with the team in order to see results. Seeing statistics gives everyone tangible results to be proud of and spur continued improvement. You can also supply data about other companies within your industry or a new relevant research report. These metrics encourage and motivate employees to see that their work is significant.
Suggest different communication channels and methods.
With employees spread out in different departments or locations, many may not communicate often or at all with other teams. Connecting with many colleagues is vital for ensuring that everyone (1) understands what other colleagues are working on and (2) shares knowledge they retain. Depending on your company, many avenues to increase communication can be implemented. Hosting a Q&A on your intranet or enterprise social network, creating a company-wide networking event, and suggesting a forum for meeting other departments are all great ways to improve communication.
Give employees a call-to-action.
Many employees have an interest in participating in company-wide initiatives or events, but wait on leadership to share information or encourage attendance. By both making sure that company-wide events happen often and suggesting that employees attend, you are pushing for improved internal communication. Recommend participating in volunteer opportunities, both that the company provides and those that your employees are passionate about.
Encourage constant learning.
Work can become stagnant or redundant, so giving employees the opportunity to learn, improve and grow is essential. Any time you come across a webinar or training that you think may interest any employees, share with them. Suggest industry conferences and networking events to attend, and encourage participation whenever something piques an interest.
Be honest and as transparent as possible.
Your team relies on you as a source of information, and in order to gain trust and connection, be communicative with them. The more understanding employees have about the company’s direction, expectations and goals, the easier it is for them to effectively do their jobs. Everyone appreciates being in the loop.
Ask for opinions and suggestions.
Regularly request feedback and share media to inspire innovative ideas and conversation. Ask for feedback in many forms for an open dialogue, including small focus groups, survey forms and one-on-one meetings, and then either address or act on those opinions and suggestions. Everyone wants their voice to be heard.
As the year comes to a close, take time to appreciate your accomplishments when reflecting on the past year and be honest with yourself when looking toward the future. Thoughtful consideration of company goals, and how to reach them, makes for a better, more collaborative workplace.