More tips for effective corporate communication

Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, CYBF Mentor,

Managing Corporate Culture article series

In my last article (‘Must do’s for effective corporate communication) I listed a number of guidelines that are critical to maximizing the impact of any organization’s internal communication efforts. The following are some additional items that should also be observed:

  1. CEOs and managers must see communication initiatives as an opportunity to improve corporate culture (and thereby corporate performance) rather than as an inconvenience and a distraction from activities they deem to be more ‘worthwhile’. Unless management embraces communication initiatives in this light, they will not commit to communicating with the frequency and effort that is required to obtain the desired results.
  2. The primary reason that most communication efforts are not as effective as intended is not because the party delivering the message delivers it poorly – it is because the recipients of messages are not listening. Often times, we can be much better speakers than listeners. As a leader, this is something that you will not change – you can only anticipate it and take extra steps (as outlined in my last article) to minimize this obstacle. It is important to confirm, after communicating, that the listeners understood the message as it was intended.
  3. Training is important for effective corporate communication. It is important to make sure the management team and others have the communication skills, knowledge and understanding they need to be self-sufficient if needed in their efforts to communicate.

How frequently should major corporate communication initiatives happen?

We found that monthly staff meetings were helpful to keeping our employees engaged and aware of what was happening in the organization. (See the last article for the preparation recommended for this type of meeting.)

What should be included in corporate communication messages or meetings?

Our generic checklist included:

  1. Description and status of key corporate initiatives that supported the corporation’s vision and mission
  2. New and significant opportunities and challenges that had arisen since the last meeting or may have been raised at the last meeting
  3. Important personnel items (e.g. recognizing achievement, personnel changes, etc.)
  4. Anything else that you feel is important to communicate on a group basis rather than one on one

What do you do if it is difficult to have all employees attend staff meetings?

We produced a written summary of the key items discussed at the meeting and distributed this to all employees. Also, managers were responsible for ensuring that the key points were communicated to team members who could not attend the meeting.

That’s it for corporate communication. My next series of articles will be devoted to crucially important, (and difficult) area of corporate culture – getting the right people in the right positions.

Should have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article please email me (Terry Thompson) at ©

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