You know it, and they know it. Your employees’ satisfaction and well being are a priority if you want your company to thrive. Ultimately, you want everyone to be joyful when coming to work.
For that to happen, you need to understand what people want at their job. The very first thing that needs to be brought up when thinking of human relations, in general, is communication.
Jason Anthoine, the founder of the consulting firm Audacity, surveyed some of the most relevant subjects to address when facing the big question - what makes for successful communication in your company? Let’s divide it into parts.
1. Resources to become a community builder
When asked what employees want from internal communications the most, the answer that got the largest response rate was “to build a community”. Seeing a team’s communication and social interactions as a thing to systemize is likely a step in the wrong direction.
There are no concrete answers when it comes to building a community. This won’t be solved by a fancy office or good salaries - although feel free to add that to the mix - but it does, however, come from a place of genuine desire for your employees to connect and have their workplace feel like a part of their identity.
2. Improved time management across teams
Life’s all about timing, and so is communication. Every single one of your employees wants to have as clear of a mind as possible. 84% of Audacity’s respondents listed as a top priority what employees consider to be the root of good communications - efficient time management. A whole lot of information is out of pace or merely unnecessary at the time we receive it. This translates into full inboxes, cluttered intranets, and every communication channel being potentially ineffective.
What you heard throughout your teenage years about having a clean room to have a clear mind might ring a bell. Be attentive to the need for your team to be clear-minded at all times.
3. Clear information for better communication
Excellent communication is all about understanding the way we engage, and no one is particularly fascinated by a morning briefing when you could have been working on something business-critical.The second and third place in the priorities for great communication was to
Get the information they actually need, and
Getting it clearly.
The way you communicate is often more important than what you have to say. Your employees will always favor simplified information that is needed, rather than being flooded with messages that, even if backed by the best of intentions, can very well end up being irrelevant.
4. Clear definition of team member roles
As hard as it seems to understand it, we are not the center of the universe. 41% of respondents listed information to be communicated by the right people as a priority.
Everyone at the workplace has specific priorities to be working on, but not everyone needs to express it the same way. The office manager has a more substantial authority when it comes to organizing social events than Carl from Sales. Unless Carl is the most charming in the office. Then let Carl do it.
5. Meaningful collaboration for employee engagement
Meaningfulness. One of the most human words, and unsurprisingly one of the top priorities Jason Anthoine got from his respondents. Some of the most recurrent answers in the survey were “less transactional (communication) and more inspirational” and “more of the why”.
Our constant search for meaning in the things we do - and avoid - in our lives is what defines us as people. If your employees are not getting the information that motivates them to feel like they’re doing something of relevance for a community, they will end up avoiding communication altogether.
Building a bridge between your talent’s aspirations and the way they communicate is critical.
6. A work environment built on trust among employees
Last, but not least is sociability and trust. Do your employees trust each other, and how does this reflect on the way they communicate and socialize? Connecting the dots as to how people relate to each other, what type of information they share, and to whom are particular insights you should be looking at up close.
You could get valuable information to help create a simpler, happier, and more cohesive working environment by using the information that is presented to you.
Good Internal Communications Is About Employee Experience
If your communication doesn't revolve around the way your company is shaped, and how employees perceive it to be shaped, you're not creating alignment. You're creating dissonance.
Communication is meant to be a constant process, serving both the company and your employees in order for everyone to be a part of a whole.
No matter how much we end up systemizing processes in the company, communication in itself is complex and needs to be continuously updated. Being mindful of having a healthy-minded community is the pillar that unites them all. Be sure to build up from there, always keeping the happiness of your employees in mind.
Tip: If you’re a good storyteller, or someone comes to mind when thinking of this, do consider building a narrative around your company’s vision and mission. You might not be all suave when it comes to verbalizing the great ideas you have in mind for the company and everyone in the team, but a strong narrative could end up being your best ally.