Last week, I had the pleasure of discussing the topic of internal communications with of members of the Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM). Mary Kaylor, Public Affairs Manager at SHRM, hosts a weekly Twitter chat called #Nextchat on Wednesday afternoons at 3 pm ET. The topics ranged from communication effectiveness, security, and challenges of using social platforms for internal communication.
Check out the full summary, you’ll likely discover 3+ ideas for your own organization.
One topic in particular though caught my attention . . . the rumor mill.
A1. My biggest challenge is the internal rumor mill. News travels fast even if it's inaccurate! #Nextchat
— Kelli S.,PHR,SHRM-CP (@HrMillennial) March 23, 2016
Why do Rumors Start?
Simple: Insufficient, Incomplete, & Inaccurate information.
HR and Internal Comms managers, no matter the industry, struggle to distribute consistent messaging to all employees, especially hourly, seasonal, and non-desk workers. Workplaces (sadly) at times can be like the school playground; bad news and rumors travel fast.
While it may not seem like rumors and consistent messaging impact “important” business metrics, it absolutely does. Non-desk employees are directly interacting with customers and assuring product quality in their roles as servers, hotel clerks, retail associates, production workers, housekeeping, machine operators, and more. Their engagement and positive attitude has a direct effect on sales, customer experience, quality, compliance, and reputation.
The only way to burn down your organization’s rumor mill(s) and extinguish the spread of rumors is to provide clear, accurate, and consistent information to all your employees, including your non-desk workers. Or, think of it this way, your task is to create the message, while Red e App helps you get it to your employees in real-time. Burn rumor mills, burn.