Spring clean your internal communications program
Wow! Spring has finally arrived and I have been throwing open the windows and letting the warm spring air, freshen up my home. I love to take a few days in the spring to clean and declutter my home. As I started on a few spring cleaning chores this weekend, I thought, are there some things we can do to clean up and refresh your employee communications? Turns out, there is!
- Declutter: Start by getting rid of what is not working or doesn’t serve you. If you are monitoring and measuring your internal communications effectiveness, you will have an understanding of what isn’t effective and can make a case for retiring an unused channel or dated internal communication materials. For example, if your weekly email to the team is ignored, perhaps replace it with a weekly huddle.
“Clutter is the enemy of clarity” (Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way).
- Clean and tidy: Take the materials, tools and channels you use for internal communication and think about how you might clean them up. Do you have an internal communications junk drawer that needs to be cleared out? Is there material that could be revised to improve readability, or updated with more relevant examples or statistics. Take a look at the look and feel of your materials. It may be possible to clean these up by adding more white space, modern images and updated photography (with pictures of people who actually work for your company).
“Begin challenging your assumptions. Your assumptions are the windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile or the light won't come in.” (Alan Alda)
- Refresh: This is the fun part! In my home, I add a fresh dose of colour with some new accessories or new accent piece. Why not take the same approach with your internal communications by adding some colour and creativity. Perhaps you can create interest by including visuals in your emails or replacing the bullet points in your presentations with images or video. Content can be refreshed by adding quotes, humour, or updating the tone and voice you use in your writing. Other ideas include holding a team event in a different location or putting some colourful and captivating posters in your meeting rooms.
“Leave a little sparkle wherever you go.”
If you are like Phyllis Diller and cleaning just isn’t your thing. Use this approach:– be realistic about what you can achieve and start with some small steps so you don’t get overwhelmed. I like to tackle the low hanging fruit (easy and visible stuff first) and that gives me and my team some positive energy to tackle more of the heavy lifting. These quick wins also help to secure support from the leadership team who will see the benefits of your clean-up program.
“Housework can’t kill you – but why take the chance.” (Phyllis Diller)