This post was contributed by Dale Carnegie Training, founded in 1912 on the principles of one of America’s most influential speakers and leaders. I agreed to publish this guest post because even after all these years, Dale Carnegie philosophies have stood the test of time for how to influence with integrity. I liked this post because it provides a way to look at “influence” through the lens of internal communications across all sectors of a company: peer-to-peer, employees to manager and senior leadership to the whole organization. Enjoy!
Internal communication is important for any organization to function effectively. Employees should feel that they can easily communicate with their team members as well as upper management, because this contributes to productivity and overall results. The following list includes actionable steps for improving internal communication:
Make “Sticky” Information Accessible
Every organization has its own set of internal knowledge, or “sticky” information, that all employees come to understand. It can take time to learn how the company does things, from protocol for preparing client-facing documents to other types of best practices. Help employees learn this information faster by including it as a part of training and by creating internal documents to be used for reference.
Make the Mission and Vision Clear
Take the time to explain the company values and mission, whether as part of corporate training or as a regular reminder to employees. When employees are unified in their understanding of the company goals, they will be able to communicate with one another more effectively in order to reach them.
Not only should communication be improved between team members who work together, but between employees and their managers. Make sure to address this during management training programs. Managers who take the time to get to know their employees and are willing to listen to them will find it easier to communicate and keep direct reports on task. When employees feel that managers are able to address their individual concerns, they are more likely to feel connected.
Create Open Dialogue
Keep employees up-to-date on company changes, progress and future plans. This could be through a bi-monthly newsletter or at company meetings. Furthermore, allow employees to be involved in this discussion. Encourage questions and comments, and show that all ideas are welcome. Employees are more likely to communicate well when they feel they have a part in where the company is headed.
Encourage Information Sharing
Provide an online platform for knowledge sharing. Employees are likely reading about industry news and trends on a regular basis, so offer them a place to share this information. By having an opportunity to show what they know, employees will be eager to stay involved in this endeavor. Not only will this create more energy and purpose behind communication, but the sharing of valuable insights will be helpful to business.
Online Project Management Tools
There are many types of online tools that can be used to facilitate communication. These tools can help keep track of a project’s progress so that everyone knows what is left to be done. While face-to-face communication is always important, online tools can aid in this process by saving time and helping to document the work.
Plan External Events
Create opportunities for employees to meet outside of the office. Nothing hinders communication more than when there are employees in the company who haven’t truly met one another. Plan a holiday party or a happy hour after work. This also gives employees something to look forward to, which can facilitate improved engagement and stronger communication.
Discussion Question: How do you strive to improve internal communication in your workplace?