Communication is used by every employee in an organization, regardless of role or rank.
Knowing this, many companies provide communication training for customer-facing employees. Others may educate front-line supervisors on how to communicate procedures and policies to their charges.
This article will explore how to improve internal communication within your organization.
Set Communication Roles
First, let’s consider the communication roles of each group.
Managers (as distinguished from front-line supervisors) are the conduits through which vertical communication passes. As such, managers must relay the concerns and ideas of employees. They must also be skilled in providing feedback and directing employees toward meeting organizational goals.
In their communications, executives and senior managers provide leadership, inspiration, and the broad, market-wide perspective that is required to steer any organization toward greener, more profitable pastures.
It is the executive’s role to get teams fired up, and to ensure that new projects begin with a positive, anticipatory atmosphere.
Fight Against Miscommunication
Robert McCloskey captured the circuitous confusion of miscommunication when he quipped, “I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
To ensure that they are conveying their intended messages, managers and executives should brush up on the following tips for successful communication:
- Consider your tone. Most people have a hard time capturing an intended message if their emotions get in the way.
Especially when sending emails, be sure to step outside of your own viewpoint for a moment to consider how the recipient might feel upon receiving your message. Aim for a tone that’s positive, honest, and trustworthy.
- Clarify, clarify, clarify. Many miscommunications occur when people fail to admit that they are confused. Ask questions until you can confirm that all parties involved are receiving the same transmission.
Encourage everyone that you communicate with to ask questions with no fear of ridicule. Let “there are no stupid questions” be your mantra, and you’ll suffer far fewer misunderstandings and boost employee engagement.
- Enter into every communication with an objective in mind. This will help you prioritize messages that must be conveyed and allow you to let go of unimportant side points.
- Don’t let your emotions get in the way. If you are upset, feel free to write a nasty letter—just don’t send it!
Abraham Lincoln, a masterful communicator, made use of this technique. Following his death, a scathing letter decrying General Meade’s weakness following Gettysburg was found in Lincoln’s desk.
Consider adopting Lincoln’s approach—express your frustrations honestly, but before you convey them to your colleagues and employees, cool down. Then, let your rational mind strategize the best way to preserve trust through communication.
Remember, internal communication is the foundation of the experiences your employees have within your organization.
Spending time making sure all employees understand what is going on at the company and what is expected of them will surely improve their experience.
Improve employee experience today.
About the Author
Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.