Keep your employee communication plan fresh and dynamic

A couple of years ago I renovated my dingy old basement. When I started out, the task seemed daunting, but through careful planning and budgeting, I was able to bring to life my vision of a fun and funky family room.

When the project was done, I heaved a great sigh of relief and settled in to enjoy my beautiful new space. Lately, though, I’ve been looking around and thinking of adding a fireplace. It’s not that the current room doesn’t suit my taste or needs. It’s more that I know I can make it warmer and more inviting.

Employee communication plans can be a lot like my basement. If you’ve got a solid plan in place that is working well—and 90% of you do according to our recent survey—the temptation can be to just let it roll over each year. Why fix what’s not broken, right?

Because you can always make it better.

Don’t worry: Improving your plan doesn’t mean gutting it down to the studs. But periodically you should take the time to look at your plan and identify opportunities to freshen things up.

Here are three areas where quick updates can have a big impact:

Situation analysis: Like a fresh coat of paint, a quick update on the current state of employee communication can provide a new backdrop to highlight areas in your plan that need renewed attention.

Objectives: If your internal communication plan focuses on what employees need to know (the old newsroom model of communication), try taking an action-oriented approach and concentrate on what employees need to do. 

Really want to upgrade your plan and engage employees? Fold an emotional component into your objectives by thinking about what you want your employees to believe.

Channels/tactics: Introduced a new channel or tactic recently? If not, you’re not alone. While 93% of internal communication professionals say they make the most of their existing channels, only 50% of them propose out-of-the-box ideas in their plans, according to our survey.

One way to break out of that box is to go retro: If you normally use digital channels like your intranet or email, consider adding in a few key print pieces for major initiatives to really capture employees’ attention.

Or if you’re constantly pushing content out, consider adding some sprints of employee-generated content. For example, one of our clients filmed executives doing “Carpool Karaoke” to holiday songs. If that’s a bit too out of the box for you, start with a small pilot, such as asking employees to submit selfies with company products or challenging different sites to see which can create the largest group shot.

Just like a decorating facelift can re-energize a room that’s grown stale, sprucing up your internal communication plan can help you engage employees who are tired of the “same old, same old.” So, channel your inner HGTV host and look for exciting new ideas that you can incorporate into your plan to keep it fresh. 

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