Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How Are You Improving Employee Communications?

Communication between departments always seems to be a challenge for most organizations, and is often rated among the top issues needing improvement. For those of us in the communications field, the problem looms large, as the issue is often dropped in our laps with a directive to "fix it." Unfortunately, there are limits to what we control. While we may be responsible for internal communications, we may not be involved in interactions between other departments. In addition, some of these departments aren't great about sharing important information with the communications area and the rest of the organization.

At Memphis Light, Gas and Water, we've done a number of things to better equip our employees with more information. Here are a few examples:
  • Someone from communications takes notes at our board of directors, City Council and manager meetings, and these notes and presentations are distributed to all employees via e-mail. 
  • If we've received media coverage, I'll send a recap of the interview, our key messages, and a story link and text once it's available to all supervisors and above. 
  • We have established an Internal Communications Committee to review our communications efforts and provide feedback on behalf of employees. 
  • We created a foreman-and-above newsletter entitled "In the Loop" that provides company updates from other areas. The newsletter is sent out monthly via e-mail and in hard copy to our field employees who do not have e-mail.

A few things we hope to implement this year:
  • Promote site visits by company executives, and publish Q&A from these visits for all employees. 
  • Create an "Ask Us!" feature on the Intranet that allows employees to ask random questions about company operations. Our staff will facilitate getting the questions answered. 
Those a few examples from MLGW. How are you improving employee communications?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your great ideas. I'm wondering if anyone has statistics on how to measure effectiveness of communications - specifically benchmarks for readership of newsletters and intranets. That way, we know we are improving our communications.