You’ve mapped out a spring-cleaning plan: Tackle the refrigerator first, then the bathtub, then the kids’ closets, and so on. Use this same strategy to refresh your employee communication channels.
Here are a dozen ways to do so.
|Create a graphic email. Choose a design that uses one or two simple images that support the messages, along with short, concise copy. The email should fit into a computer’s viewing window and work on mobile devices.|
|Clearly outline required action steps. If employees are supposed to do something, describe that required action right up front. Too often, “to dos” are buried.|
|See if you can cut (even a little bit). The ideal length for email messages is a single screen. If your message is longer, start cutting.|
|Sharpen your headlines. Titles (and subtitles) are your secret weapon. They provide signals about your content and make it more relatable.|
|Address needs. Most articles assume employees will be fascinated by the topic we’ve been assigned to communicate. Not a chance. At work, employees don’t have time for “nice to know.” They need stories they can immediately relate to. Explain what’s in it for them.|
|Refresh your voice. A common request from employees is “less corporate speak.” Use a plain, matter-of-fact tone. It feels honest and authentic.|
|Emphasize what matters. If every article on your home page has the same weight—or if the wrong things are too prominent—you run the risk users might overlook vital information. Evaluate your use of real estate on the home page. Then leave more room for your most important content to give it greater weight.|
|Make content easy to find. One of the biggest frustrations for employees is not being able to find information. Although taming the complexity of your intranet may be a big job, there are small fixes you can make: Make headlines and link names plain, simple and descriptive. Check your search engine. Work with IT to maximize the technology available, using key words and metatags to make content easily searchable.|
|Develop a consistent architecture. Similar to an intranet site map, you need a blueprint to organize information on your bulletin boards.|
|Target high-traffic locations. Location of bulletin boards and posters is critical. Avoid positioning bulletin boards in narrow hallways where employees will walk past without noticing. Instead, display in open areas where employees are more likely to stop and visit, such as in the cafeteria or near an elevator.|
|Go low-tech. You don’t need a lot of professional actors or special effects for an effective video. For example, rather than describing in multiple paragraphs how to use a website for benefits enrollment, show the process in a video.|
|Create a series. How likely is it that a senior leader or other expert will talk about a significant issue for 60 seconds or less? That’s where some basic editing skills can come in handy. Consider breaking an interview into a series of short segments and sharing them as a series.