Internal communication intends to provide an effective flow of information between colleagues and departments. Meant to keep people informed, communication strategies apply to both managers and employees and should work up and down the chain of command. An effective communication strategy can help you improve overall productivity in the workplace, exude professionalism and positivity to external parties, and instill a sense of trust among employees. In other words, your communication strategy should serve as a blueprint for success.
- What is a communication strategy?
- Why is organizational communication important?
- 10 organizational communication strategies
What is a communication strategy?
A communication strategy is a strategy or plan that specifies how a message will be delivered. A proper communication strategy will be constructed around three main pillars. The strategy must identify the intended audience or demographic the message is intended for, nail down the message that will be communicated, and lastly, identify the channels or means by which the message will be delivered. Getting clear on these three factors will ensure your communication strategy is optimized for effective communication among employees, customers, and clients.
Meetings worth showing up to
A well-run meeting can foster communication and collaboration by including an agenda the whole team can contribute to. Try using a tool like Fellow!
Why is organizational communication important?
Organizational communication is important for several reasons, including increased clarity, greater collaboration and alignment among teammates, and less miscommunication. A solid organizational communication strategy will ensure everyone within the organization is aligned and on the same page. While effective communication lends itself significantly to internal efforts, it’s important to remember that these efforts directly affect customer relationships, and, therefore, the organization’s bottom line, too.
10 organizational communication strategies
- Use communication tools
- Encourage one-on-one conversations
- Provide clear instructions
- Train your team
- Be timely
- Allow for anonymous feedback
- Celebrate achievements
- Promote cross-functional collaboration
- Keep leadership in the loop
- Practice active listening
1Use communication tools
Using communication tools is a great way to level up your communication game in the workplace. Leveraging communication tools in the workplace helps businesses refine their approach by using data to inform and validate strategies and decisions. Communication tools often feature purpose-based data-gathering tools that enable users to leverage real-time data to inform and validate strategies and decisions.
Thousands of leaders at companies like Shopify, SurveyMonkey, Webflow, and Gong have been using Fellow to optimize and improve internal communications. Fellow enables companies of all kinds to optimize one-on-one meetings by making it possible for leaders, managers, direct reports, and peers to collaborate on meeting agendas, assign action items, get suggested conversation topics, and exchange feedback.
Pro tip: Fellow’s Chrome extension streamlines workplace communication strategies by easily taking notes during your video calls! This is also a great prompt for your team to document decisions, meeting outcomes, and action items. Setting the stage for a productive meeting.
2Encourage one-on-one conversations
The purpose of hosting a one-on-one meeting is to make sure you’re aligned with your direct reports or teammates while staying in the loop about priorities, upcoming projects, or even potential roadblocks that may be getting in the way of your team doing its best work. Hosting one-on-one meetings will also present you with a great opportunity to improve communication with each one of your teammates on a more personal level. Creating an open line of communication while fostering an inclusive environment where each one of your peers feels comfortable chatting is an excellent way to improve communication within your team and organization.
3Provide clear instructions
Failing to provide clear instructions leads to miscommunication, which is the opposite of an effective communication strategy. The receiver of your instructions should clearly understand what is expected of them after your interaction. Being clear in your overall intent and motive will ensure the recipient has the information they need to derive an appropriate conclusion or ask relevant questions. To avoid providing instructions that are not clear, be clear and concise in your delivery, and provide examples and clarity when necessary. It’s also important to refrain from making assumptions and always move forward under the impression that the recipient may not have understood your instructions.
4Train your team
You can’t expect your teammates to be good communicators if you don’t take the time to provide them with proper training. While they may be well versed in general communication best practices, they may not have the information necessary to thrive within the organization. Clear, concise communication training will help establish consistency in communication standards so your employees know what to expect and how to interact with their coworkers as well as their customers. When teammates can communicate effectively with their coworkers, they’ll be able to collaborate and work more efficiently together to reach common goals. Strong communication among team members fosters greater collaboration, better brainstorming, and exceptional execution.
Being timely is an extremely important component of effective communication. Timely communication can help organizations make the most of every opportunity through informed decision-making and collaboration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, failing to act promptly may result in miscommunication or missed opportunities. Not only does untimely communication hinder productivity and disrupt timelines, but it can also be detrimental to your team’s cohesion. It’s important to remember that untimely communication can lead to negative perceptions of managers or team members, too.
6Allow for anonymous feedback
Anonymous feedback is an excellent way to gain in-depth insights that employees may not otherwise share. Employees are often incentivised to share anonymous feedback for the simple reason that it’s anonymous and can’t be traced back to them, and because they can provide their honest opinion without fear of retribution. When employees have the opportunity to provide feedback anonymously, respondents are more likely to discuss sensitive issues and provide more detailed, honest feedback.
Tools like Fellow make it easier than ever to gain anonymous feedback. Simply navigate to your feedback inbox, click on the type of feedback you wish to receive, add respondents, and check off the box for anonymous feedback.
Celebrating achievements by communicating success is an important part of building and maintaining a high-functioning team. Celebrating your team’s performance is a great way to sustain morale while your team works towards your next set of goals. When celebrating wins, it’s also important to be mindful of your team’s communication preferences. Learning how team members prefer to receive praise or constructive feedback is key to maintaining a healthy working relationship. Understanding your team members and what motivates them will ensure you can work as a team toward your shared goals, creating a sense of openness and cohesion.
8Promote cross-functional collaboration
Promoting cross-functional collaboration is a great way to improve communication and foster relationships among teams that would have otherwise never crossed paths. When executed effectively, cross-functional collaboration helps break down barriers and hierarchical boundaries while easing tension and building comradery between departments. When employees begin to trust each other by working collaboratively, they begin to communicate more clearly and operate as a unified front, creating a collaborative culture that benefits all levels of the organization.
9Keep leadership in the loop
Communication starts from the top down, which is why it’s important to keep leadership involved when it comes to new communication strategies. Keeping leadership in the loop will ensure everyone is on the same page and no one is left without context should a conflict arise. Communication strategies should remain cohesive up and down the chain of command to avoid confusion or miscommunication. Often, to create a unified front, leadership needs to leverage a combination of communication strategies to keep employees working towards a common goal, mission, or vision.
10Practice active listening
Being an active listener is essential for effective communication and engaging conversations. Active listening is an important part of your communication skill set because it encourages openness and honesty. Taking the time to actively listen is a sign of respect, and it’s also a great way to set a positive example for the rest of your team. When you pay attention to your teammates during a conversation, you’re demonstrating to the other individuals that they’re being heard, which helps build trust and rapport.
Practicing active listening is easier than you may think. It can be done by:
- Paraphrasing the speaker’s message but refraining from interruption.
- Expressing interest in the speaker’s message by displaying nonverbal involvement.
- Asking questions that encourage the speaker to elaborate on their beliefs or feelings.
Implement these communication strategies today
In conclusion, communication strategies ensure that important information is relayed to the right people through internal and external communication. To streamline communication and increase efficiency, it’s essential that all employees are on the same page and working as a unified front and this can’t be achieved without the use of communication strategies.