Last week I attended Ragan’s Corporate Communicators Conference in Pittsburgh. All of the sessions were great, and a few stuck out more than others. Becky Graebe, Luz Betancourt, and Kimberly Trubiro discussed trust, empowerment and respect.

Don’t send your employees mixed messages

Presented by Becky Graebe, Director of Communications at SAS

What happens when you tell your employees that you trust them, but fail to give them access to tools for communication? You’re sending mixed messages.

It’s critical to give your employees the tools they need to do their job and communicate. This helps them feel valued, respected, and trusted. When you don’t provide tools, employees often take communications into their own hands, which leads me into another great point that Becky discussed.

If issues go unaddressed and employees do not have an internal channel to have voice concerns, they will likely find an external channel such as Facebook or Twitter to have conversations or even express their feelings about the company.

Situations like this one that happened at Chipotle are growing increasingly common. Creating a safe digital place for employees to be heard can help you resolve issues internally without being forced into the public arena.

We could not agree more. This is why 2-way communication is a fundamental part of Red e App’s mobile platform. Employees always have the opportunity to respond to messages, and they can quickly voice concerns through a discrete channel. Bulletin boards, text blasts, and mailings can be helpful in communicating TO your employees. A digital platform like Red e App empowers you to communicate WITH your employees.

Empower others

Presented by Luz Betancourt, Senior Manager of PR at UPMC

Do you work with a small internal comms team? You may want to consider recruiting employees from other departments to help with your communication efforts. Be open-handed and look for opportunities to empower leaders in your organization to be better communicators.

This will help you, your team, and your company. Empowering others shows that there is a sense of trust, expands the reach and impact of your team, and helps engage employees. Your workforce wants to hear directly from the real people leading your organization.

At Red e App, we have always known the importance of delegating communication. Our Mobile Notifier feature allows you to designate specific managers and leaders as communicators. Notifiers can send messages to the entire organization or just to specific groups based on their access.

Keep employees in the loop

Kimberly Trubiro, Corporate Comms Manager at Cummins Inc

How do your employees feel when you keep them in the dark?

In her session, Kimberly Trubiro of Cummins Inc. shared that employees who don’t receive communications often feel disrespected. Whether you have good or bad news to share, it is critical to keep your workforce informed, sharing as much as possible.

When Cummins asked their manufacturing workforce, “How do you want to receive information?” they responded with, “timely, from my manager, and with an opportunity to ask questions.”

We have heard these same sentiments echoed continually from our customers who have large hourly workforces. Employees want frequent, real-time, 2-way communications with their employers. Providing a tool like Red e App helps to increase the quality and frequency of manager communications, leading to more engaged employees.

If you attended the conference, I would love to hear your most impactful takeaway from #RaganCCC 2016. Find me on Twitter @_hannahbeasley, or comment below!