As your organization grows, it becomes more difficult to clearly, effectively, and efficiently communicate with all of your employees. With a small staff or facility, it’s easy to keep in contact with your team because there are fewer people and less space to cover. But as your staff or facility grows, this becomes more challenging. You have to implement new strategies to keep your entire team on the same page.
Here are few tips on how to communicate with employees in a growing organization or facility.
Create a Company-Wide Meeting Plan
When your team is small, it’s easy to keep everyone updated on the changes and future of the organization. You essentially have company “meetings” each time the staff is all in one room.
But as your company grows, these impromptu meetings are less likely to occur. There are too many people to casually gather and talk. Meetings become scheduled sessions with only the people that need to be involved.
This can create a disconnection as staff members that once felt involved can begin to feel excluded. And, it prevents new staff members from ever getting involved. So as your staff or location grows, be more intentional about company discussions and create a plan for having company-wide meetings.
Pick a schedule. Set a day and time for when the meeting will occur. Stick to the schedule so employees know when to expect it and can make it a part of their regular work habits.
Pick a communication method. Decide how you will deliver the message. Meeting in person works for groups under 50 people. But as the size of your organization grows or if the location doesn't permit group gatherings (such as operating in more than one location), you will need to look for other delivery methods. Consider:
- Video conference calls
- Delivering video messages via digital signage
- Holding town hall style meetings
Have an agenda. Ensure that your messages resonate with your team by keeping it short and sweet, using visuals that help hold attention, only sharing need-to-know information, and keeping the same meeting format. By conducting meetings in the same way each time, it helps employees know what to expect.
Allow Communication to Flow Both Ways
Since your company-wide meetings will mostly include information from the top of the organization flowing down to the rest of the organization, set a method for how information can flow the other way.
As you create ways to communicate with employees in a growing organization, implement a system that allows the whole organization to share their perspectives, wins, and concerns. You can create this by allowing other people to speak up during meetings. Or, you can create a system which allows staff to send feedback and questions which are then addressed during meetings.
Assign a Communication Lead for Each Department
Once you have a plan to communicate with the whole team, set a plan to keep in contact with each department. Assign one person for each department to be responsible for communicating with both top-level management and their team.
Train this person to be responsible for sharing information both up and down. They should inform their staff about details of high-level meetings that affect them. And, they should share information from their team with high-level executives.
Create Communication Guidelines
People have very different communications methods and preferences. They also have dozens and dozens of ways to communicate with each other. This can create a problem.
Individuals that communicate one way may have a hard time reaching others that take a different approach. For example, someone who prefers talking on the phone may have trouble connecting with someone who only emails.
Avoid this problem with communication in the workplace by setting guidelines for how your team should communicate. Set expectations for email response times, utilizing office chat tools, and what warrants in-person meetings, among other tips for helping your staff connect with each other.
Implement a Company-Wide Communication Tool
You can take a communication policy one step further by establishing your own company-wide internal communications tool. Message boards, digital screens, and tools like BaseCamp, Podio, and Slack (which also act as project management software) allow your team to connect with each other and streamline communication and collaboration efforts.
Create an Internal Knowledge Database
Communication needs to be transferred, and it also needs to be retained. So, don’t put all of your efforts into how to share information. Also, put resources toward creating a database of information that can be used in the future.
When you release information, changes, or updates, store the information in a place (such as an online database) where people can easily access it. This creates a record of your business messages, plans, and processes that employees can access when they need to refresh their minds or train new staff.
Commit to Regularly Sharing Info
Employees crave information about their organization. It helps them stay more engaged and feel more passionate about their work. So, make communicating information about your organization a priority. Find a clear way to deliver your messages and make a commitment to keeping the lines of communication in your organization open.
Learning how to communicate with employees in a growing organization or facility is a work in progress. You will need to evolve and change as your team size fluctuates. But with these tips, you will be more likely to keep in contact with your entire organization, no matter what the size is.
Get more tips for staying in contact with your employees by checking out This Simple Tool for Drastically Improving Internal Communication in Your Organization.