Internal communications: A key ingredient for building trust between employees and leadership
Remember when you were a kid and your parents would whisper to each other in the front seat of the car so you couldn’t hear them? I always assumed they were talking about something terrible, like cancelling our planned stop for ice cream, or touring an open house for an extended period of time.
Not much changes once you reach adulthood and become gainfully employed. We tend to assume that if the people in charge aren’t sharing information, it’s because it’s bad.
That’s why internal communications is so important. Whether your company is growing, or facing declining sales, your employees want to know! What direction is our company going? What’s working? What’s not working? If there are challenges, how are we addressing them? The more they know and understand their role in your organization, the better.
Here are some ways you can build trust between employees and leaders with internal communications.
Have more face-to-face time. Nothing can replace the power of a regular cadence of face-to-face communications between leaders and employees. [Learn more about the power of human interaction.] Maybe one leader has a series of town halls, or you rotate among company leadership. And for companies with geographic constraints, video-conferencing to patch in your employees across the country or globe.
If you like the idea of a more intimate setting, schedule a regular lunch or breakfast with a small group of employees and leaders to discuss the business, answer questions, and address concerns.
Share your goals, and how you’ll achieve them. Don’t let your company’s business goals be a secret. Let your employees in on business plans so they understand how they can help you get there.
Beat the media to sharing your news. If at all possible, don’t let your employees find out what your company is up to from second-hand sources. They should hear news from you first – that way, you have the chance to share the news from your perspective, address their concerns, and maintain trust in the process.