Ensuring clear communication within your organisation is more important than ever, as it can help you increase employees’ engagement and grow your business. However, to achieve this, you will need to create a robust communications strategy that will allow you to improve business operations. There are a few things that you will need to keep in mind if you want to develop an effective communications plan. Most importantly, you should understand how a communications strategy can serve your organisation’s goals. Within this guide, you will find a few key steps you can take today to create a better communications strategy, which will keep your team on the same page and help you reach your goals.
Determine Specific Goals
It’s important to think about what you want to achieve with this strategy. You will need to set specific goals that you can track on a regular basis. This will help you ensure that you keep improving. Recognising progress will also inspire your team to continue working hard towards a shared vision. Remember to set both short and long-term goals and consider the timelines for each. Also, it’s important to relate each step you take to your goals.
Improve Your Ability To Influence Others
Communicating with impact is crucial if you are looking to embed purpose in your organisation, which means that you will need to learn how to positively influence others on your team. There are various ways to learn more about communicating and influencing, such as taking part in online courses designed to improve your communication skills. For example, this communicating for influence and impact online course from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership will equip you with all the tools and techniques you need to communicate persuasively and effectively. Moreover, you will develop key leadership skills, allowing you to inspire and motivate others to create meaningful change within your organisation.
Evaluate Your Current Strategy
Before you can create a new and improved strategy, it’s important to look at the current situation. You will need to evaluate your existing communications plan and determine why it has not been performing as well as expected. This may also direct your attention to problem areas that you can prioritise in the future. It might be beneficial to conduct a SWOT analysis, which will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, as well as look at opportunities and threats that your business might face. The information that you gather from this analysis can be used to create a more effective communications strategy.
Determine Which Channels To Use
Next, you will need to determine which channels you should use to deliver your information to employees. For example, you may choose to send out a company-wide email when you need to announce any changes within your organisation. However, it might also be helpful to hold in-person team meetings, which can be used to discuss things in further detail or provide an opportunity for employees to openly raise any concerns. There are also plenty of communication tools that you can utilise to keep in touch with your team if you work remotely.
Develop Organisational Skills
Failing to stay organised as a business leader will make it more difficult to implement a new communications strategy. Therefore, you should ensure that you stay focused and organised at all times. You will need to learn how to delegate responsibilities to others and set realistic deadlines for a more efficient working environment. It might also be beneficial to incorporate various tools into your workday, such as calendars, to-do lists, planners, journals, and others. This can be especially helpful if you are working on a project and you want to communicate updates to your team as they occur.
Make Information Relevant
At times your employees may feel like they are receiving information that doesn’t concern them. This means that you will need to ensure that you are always delivering the right message to the right employees using the most appropriate tools. You can make the information relevant by mentioning how each team member will be affected by the message that you are delivering. As a result, they will be able to see the goal of your communication and what you hope to achieve. Moreover, you are more likely to receive the desired response from employees.
Avoid Information Overload
Nowadays, it’s common for employees to feel like they have too much data to deal with at work. As there are often too many meetings to attend, emails to respond to, and phone calls to get back to, employees may feel overwhelmed. Therefore, you should focus on making things easier for them. For example, you should make your message structured and short. This will prevent your team from ignoring or discarding work-related information that might be important. Avoid using long paragraphs, as employees may not have time to read everything. Instead, consider using visual elements to deliver your message.
Keep Meetings Organised
Developing a good communications strategy means that you should learn how to make staff meetings more effective to avoid wasting precious time. It’s crucial to establish the purpose of each meeting and determine who needs to meet and what needs to be discussed. This will help you avoid holding meetings that don’t add value to your organisation. Moreover, you can increase productivity levels within your team, as everyone will stay focused on the tasks that matter. Remember to send a meeting recap at the end to summarise everything covered and reinforce important information that has been outlined during the meeting.
Identify Key Performance Indicators
Measures for success are crucial if you want to see results from your new communications strategy. Therefore, you should identify key performance indicators, which will help you find out how close you are to reaching your goals. Be sure to choose metrics and milestones, which are important to business growth. For example, if your goals were to increase job satisfaction and improve employee retention rates, you should gather the necessary data to determine whether your strategy was successful.
Ask For Feedback
Don’t forget to get your employees involved in the process of implementing a new communications strategy. They should feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and pointing out any areas for improvement. This will also help you improve employee engagement and ensure continuous growth. It might be helpful to distribute surveys or have one-on-one meetings to better understand how employees feel about the company’s efforts to improve communication. However, once you have received feedback from employees, it’s vital to act on it as soon as possible to show them that you value their opinions.
Last but not least, it’s strongly recommended to ensure consistency with your communications strategy if you want to build trust and inspire loyalty within your team. For instance, you should ensure that each platform is used for its intended purpose. You may want to use a chat app to answer quick questions and hold casual brainstorm sessions. However, if there is anything more important that needs to be discussed, it’s best to ensure that communication takes place over email or face-to-face. As a result, your team will know exactly what to expect, which will avoid confusion.