Reigning in the Information– Give it Your Communicator’s Touch
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly created a massive amount of information being disseminated, both for employees and external customers. No doubt that information varies greatly – policies on masking and testing, protocols for remote working, and onsite vendor visits, to name a few.
Although most of the information related to work policies and COVID-19 is likely being issued by your Human Resources department, as a public communicator, what expectation is there to ensure that the information is archived, easily accessible, and, more importantly, being communicated with the right tone?
Management, at all levels, needs to recognize that sending information to employees should not be a mechanical transmission from sender to receiver. How the message is delivered and tone can make the difference in compliance, support, and impact employee morale. If printed materials, talking points and speeches for external consumption would be reviewed by communications staff, so should internal information distributed organization-wide.
As a communicator, it is critical to help shed light on the nuances of internal communication; here are some important questions to pose that can help get you a seat at the table:
- Is the message being delivered in the proper format? Should the message be conveyed face-to-face, via email, internal newsletter, etc.?
- Is the message being delivered by the right person? Should the news come from the head of the organization or direct supervisors?
- Who is the intended audience, and how are others being kept aware and informed?
- Is the message written in such a way that considers the employee’s concern? Does the tone of voice align with positive employee morale and evaluate the employee’s point of view?
- Will the message require feedback or next steps from employees? How will that be gathered or monitored, and will additional follow-up communication be needed?