Do you have multiple internal communication tools? Do you have trouble keeping track of which one to use for a specific purpose? Look no further! Our Communication Tool Checklist can help you get started with keeping track of which tools are working best for your company, and find out if it’s time to bring something new to your employees. Click to download now.
The moment you walk into your office in the morning, you begin communicating with the people around you. Whether you are answering an email, sending an update through your company chat, or just having a face-to-face conversation with a coworker, you are interacting. It may be easy to keep track of your personal interactions, but what about the interactions happening throughout the rest of your organization? Do you know all of the tools currently being used to communicate with frontline managers and associates? When multiple channels are in use, it becomes increasingly difficult to understand how employees are connecting with one another (and head office), and which channels or tools are most effective for driving performance.
Today’s consumer is more knowledgeable than ever. Internal communication tools have become crucial for creating alignment between different levels of the organization and, ultimately, ensuring employees in the frontline are armed with the best and most current information about your products and brand. A study conducted by Towers Watson found that companies who are highly effective at internal communication are 2x more likely to outperform their peers. That could make a huge difference to your business. The key is to find the right mix of communication tools and channels best suited your culture, are proven to drive productivity, and help drive your performance goals forward.
The first step is to conduct an audit of your communication tools
The average employee spends an estimated 28% of the work week managing e-mail and nearly 20% looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks. With all of the different forms of communication that happen between various levels of the organization, there is a lot that can get lost in translation. Time spent searching different channels for the right information is not a good use of the workday, and can leave employees feeling frustrated or misinformed.
By taking some time to audit your organization’s internal communication tools, you can better understand what is working well, what is not, and where the gaps exist.
Building out your organization’s checklist
We have created a Communication Tool Checklist to help you get started. Download a copy by clicking here, then follow the steps below:
1. List your tools
First things first. Build out a list of all tools your organization is currently using to communicate internally. Start with channels the corporate head office is using to connect with frontline managers (for example, a learning management system (LMS), corporate e-mail and/or print memos). Next, find out what the frontline is using to connect with each other, for example, texting or messaging apps. You may be surprised about the number of ways information is cascading to the frontline.
2. Find out who is using each tool
You have your list. Now, dive deeper by figuring out who exactly is using them. Maybe everyone in the corporate office is connecting via enterprise chat, while frontline managers are receiving company updates through an LMS. By understanding who is engaging with each platform, you will start to build a bigger picture around what is effective for each level of the company.
3. How many people are using each tool?
Once you know which areas of the organization are using each tool, the next step is to understand how many employees are engaging with it. Measuring the number of people using each tool will give insight into how widespread each channel is for communicating at work.
4. What is each tool used for?
Next up, know the purpose of every tool on your list. How does your organization leverage the tool? Is the tool a platform used to train employees and provide product and service information? Or is there an app used for messaging and sharing ideas amongst store managers. Whatever the underlying purpose of the tool may be, make sure you take note of it.
5. Record the engagement levels
The last, and probably one of the most important steps when completing your Communication Tool Checklist is to figure out the engagement of each tool. Find out how often the tool is used and the reasons are behind that frequency. Also, it is important to record if any feedback received from your employees on the effectiveness of the tool. If you haven’t yet received any feedback from managers or staff, then simply ask!
Using our Communications Tools Checklist will give you a quick start to forming a clear picture of which channels are effective in your company, and what needs to be improved. Once everything is organized and quantified in front of you, constructing your new and improved internal communications strategy will be a much more streamlined process.