Internal communications can be one of the most un-glamorized but highly important roles in any company. Employee communication is critical to the engagement, efficiency, and success of every individual. And because companies are (of course) made up of individuals, communication drives the success of the whole organization.
At the recent Ragan Employee Communications, PR and Social Media Summit in Seattle, comms leaders from across the country shared best practices and tips from their experiences.
Check out these quick links for a few conference highlights:
- Rodney Jordan shared what it was like to work at Amazon when the New York Times article was published about a horrible employee experience. The article went on to become the most commented-on article the NYT has ever published online. Employee communications was absolutely critical during this time as the press was swarming and employees were being bombarded by questions from family, friends, and even strangers. In response, Jeff Bezos joined in the debate and an Amazon engineer recounted his personal experience (which has over 1 million views).
- Libby Laveson, former Twitter employee and current head of Internal Communications at Lyft, shared what it was like to work at Twitter when employees heard about a layoff from the press instead of from the organization. Can you imagine how crazy that was? Internal communications in the form of emails, huge company meetings, and an impromptu Twitter hashtag helped employees navigate this season of chaos and change.
- A member of Microsoft’s social media team talked about their successful press around a new hiring program specifically focused on recruiting employees on the Autism spectrum. This story helped recruit new talented employees to Microsoft, educated current employees about the program, and generated great awareness for Autism and the employment struggles that affect nearly 1% of the population.
With a focus on storytelling, this conference was all about making internal communications human.
Your organization is made up of people, and your employees want to hear from and about real people. These scenarios may inspire you:
- Are you struggling because employees are not reading your emails? Rethink your content. Maybe you can send the same message directly from a senior leader with “weekend words” and less corporate jargon.
- Do you have to deliver bad news? Find a way to infuse warmth into the conversation. Consider delivering the message directly from a key manager who excels at connecting with employees through transparency, honesty, and trust.
- Are you thrilled about a new corporate initiative but having a hard time getting others to care? Tell success stories using interviews, images, and videos. Provide a way for your employees to feel, see, and believe the story and the mission of your organization.
Do you have other ideas for making your internal communications more human? I love seeing and sharing new ideas. Find me on Twitter @_hannahbeasley.