Summary: Effective workplace communication can be achieved with your intranet tools and personal connections with staff.
It’s been said (many times!) that the only constant is change, and that’s never been more true than in our rapidly-evolving workplaces. For many people, change can be unsettling, but the more effectively you communicate about it, the more likely staff will be to accept and embrace the change.
A staff intranet is an excellent tool to assist with change management – read on for our top tips.
Often employees’ initial reaction to change is WHY? Things were working fine, so why is the change necessary? Relating the change to corporate goals or company values can add the missing piece that makes the change make sense.
At Intranet Connections, we underwent a large-scale renovation this fall. Before the reno, all staff had a desk to work at, so why the change? Through our project blog, we communicated the need to add more workspace to accommodate more staff, in line with our corporate growth strategy. And since creativity is one of our core SPICE values, when a wall had to be removed, we did a Company News announcement to let staff know we’d be having a post-work hammer throw at our soon-to-be-demolished wall!
One way to get staff interested and on board with change is to relate it to them personally. What’s their value proposition? How will it affect their day-to-day work, whether it’s policies, reference documents, or where they’ll hang their coat? All of these are considerations for staff.
When we were dealing with our renovation, we got staff involved in a variety of ways. We wanted to add secure bike storage, so we turned to the bikers on staff, got their suggestions, factored in our budget, and did a Quick Poll to get the most popular solution which kept expensive bikes safe. When either carpet or vinyl ‘wood’ flooring made sense in our design plan, we turned to a Discussion Board to get staff opinions and insight – and chose the vinyl flooring which made everyone happy.
There are a variety of internal communication tools on your intranet you can use to communicate with staff, but a key aspect of effective workplace communication is simply to do it often. Regular updates on project or workplace status help staff understand what’s happening, and keeps them from filling in the gaps with guesses.
Communication can be small in scope – you never know what will resonate with staff. One of our construction internal blog posts which created the most engagement with staff was about our new fridge!
And though it may be tempting to finesse your messaging until it’s perfect, once you have your key messages, spelling, and grammar in place, deliver that message to staff on your intranet without editing endlessly. By definition, intranets tend to be a more casual, staff-only place, so a more authentic person-to-person message resonates more with employees.
Regardless of the intranet tools you choose to effectively communicate organizational change to staff, the best time to start is now. The sooner you get the message to staff, the sooner you’ll start to improve engagement and connection.
How have you used your intranet to communicate change? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.