With the current job market, there is a lot of pressure on companies to retain their current employees and look as appealing as possible. One of the many factors that should be considered by companies is internal communications.
When business owners get caught off guard by workforce issues, the problem often is that they’re doing all the talking and little of the listening. The easiest way to find out what your employees are thinking is to just ask.
Putting a suggestion box in the break room, though it may sound old-fashioned, can pay off. Also consider using an online tool that allows employees to provide feedback anonymously.
Let employees vent their concerns and ask questions. Ownership or executive management could reply to queries with the broadest implications, while managers could handle questions specific to a given department or position. Share answers through companywide emails or make them a feature of an internal newsletter or blog.
At least once a year, hold a town hall meeting with staff members to answer questions and discuss issues face to face. Even if the meeting must be held virtually, let employees see and hear the straight truth from you.
Manage your internal profile
Owners of large companies often engage PR consultants to help them manage not only their public image, but also the personas they convey to employees. If you own a small to midsize business, this expense may be unnecessary, but you should think about your internal profile and manage it like the critical asset that it is.
Be sure photographs and personal information used in internal communications are up-to-date. A profile pic of you from a decade or two ago says, “I don’t care enough to share who I am today.”
Although you should avoid getting in an employees’ business too often and disrupting operations, don’t let too much time go by between communications. Regularly tour each company department or facility, giving both managers and employees a chance to speak with you candidly. Sit in on meetings periodically; ask and answer questions. Employees will likely get a morale boost from seeing you take an active interest in their corner of the business.
In fact, for a potentially fun and insightful change of pace, set aside a day to learn about a specific company position. Shadow selected employees and let them explain what really goes into their jobs. Pose questions but stay out of the way. Clarify upfront that you’re not playing “gotcha” but trying to better understand how things get done and what improvements, if any, could be made.
Business owners face formidable challenges in the year ahead. One could say the power balance has shifted a bit from owners offering jobs to workers offering services. Being a strong, authentic and transparent communicator can give you a competitive advantage. We can help your business transform and create internal communications. If you have any questions about your situation, do not hesitate to contact Rudler, PSC advisor at 859-331-1717.
RUDLER, PSC CPAs and Business Advisors
This week's Rudler Review is presented by Maddie Schweitzer, Senior Accountant and Jane Frances, CPA.
If you would like to discuss your particular situation, contact Maddie or Jane at 859-331-1717.
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