Your people are the heart and soul of your business. Read this article to find out how to really get them involved and engaged.

While the first cost to be cut during financial difficulty is marketing, the first area often forgotten in marketing during times of high stress or low budget, is internal communication.

Despite this, internal communication can essentially make or break your business.  After all, communicating internally is all about communicating with your people, getting them involved and giving them a sense of ownership — and your people are your business.

Growing companies often start their communications with a marketing team, and once they are established, incorporate internal communications strategy and specialists. Yet even if your team doesn’t have a strategist on the team, to build your people’s morale and motivation, you can still develop some standard tools that will greatly change the way you communicate, your employee’s awareness and their investment in the business’s success. There are a range of companies that assist with this, providing new software, devices and pop-ups that help you stay in touch with the people you work with every day.

1. Intranet
A simple yet extremely effective tool is an intranet. Once you go from a small to a medium team, you need one. An intranet is not only a place you can share policies, procedures, forms and documents, it enables the publication of news, company wide recognition for achievements, and promotion of key messages that underpin your business. Keep it clean, simple and easy to use. When you launch it, make it a big deal – do demonstrations, get your people involved and give them a sense of ownership.

2. Internet seminars
When your company is large and you want to maintain motivation and vision, it is important that senior leaders can address all employees. Online seminars are simple — your image is projected to screens around your company and not only can you talk to employees using web mikes or your phone system – you can take questions, share information, graphs and other images.

3. Newsletter
A staff newsletter enables you to regularly boost your communication efforts and reinforce positive messaging. A monthly newsletter can be used to update the company on the last month’s results, share insights and tips, and celebrate achievement. Integrate this with your intranet, hosting online forms that enable people to submit articles for next month’s publication simply.

4. Meetings
Meetings are a great face-to-face way to build your one-on-one relationship with your team members and direct reports. Ensuring your staff know you listen to them, is vital in increasing morale. If you operate in a big company and you have reports in other states or countries, it is still important to maintain this form of communication. Consider having a business phone system installed that includes video screen so you can see your staff members, no matter where they are, or perhaps use Skype!

5. Roadshow
Even if your staff are spread out, it’s important for you profile, and their investment in the business, that you meet with them face-to-face as regularly as possible. Consider undertaking a roadshow — visit every office and meet with your people, discuss results and open the floor up for discussion.

 

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