When we think of corporate communication, we consider how we talk to our customers or handle PR. But what matters most, especially if you are building a people-centric organization, is effective internal communication. How you communicate to your employees and teams will make or break you as a leader.
In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I give seven tips you can use today to create effective internal communication.
1. Vision and Values: everyone needs to understand where you are going as a team or company. Communicating vision and values increases the chance your employees all pull in the same direction and understand what’s important to the company.
2. Set Expectations: If people don’t know what’s expected of them, they probably are going to fall short.
3. Listen: most people think that internal communication is just about sharing information, but equally important is listening. Communication is a two-way street, and you need to pause and hear what your employees are telling you.
4. Meet Regularly: Most people want to interact with management, so I recommend more personal communication. Take the time to talk with every person on your team at least once per week. Another option is to hold monthly company meetings where you share information, showcase progress on company initiatives, and celebrate wins.
5. Streamline communication channels: there are so many ways to communicate within a company that it can be confusing to know when to use what channel. Clarify how you want your employees to use the various communication methods within your company.
6. Own and Celebrate Mistakes: communication is stifled when people are afraid of failing or making mistakes. Talk about mistakes and failures openly, even celebrating them. No organization or person is perfect so make it safe to fail.
7. Ask More Questions: the best way to learn what’s going on with your employees and teams is to ask questions. Be curious and encourage people to talk to you by asking open-ended questions.
Question of the Week
This question ties into this week’s topic of creating better internal communication. A fellow YPO’er asked about my town halls. He asked, “how do you structure your town halls to make them feel safe and effective?” I share my tips on how to hold small town halls where employees feel heard and can ask you anything.
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