Do you consider employee communication a high priority? Studies show that companies with highly effective internal communication programs are more likely to provide a significant return to shareholders and are also more likely to have higher levels of employee engagement and lower employee turnover rates.

But, how do you begin?  Start at the top by assessing your senior management team - they set the tone for establishing organizational culture and cascading daily consistent messages to employees. Ask your employees what they think - do they feel communication is aligned with the mission, vision & culture of the organization?  Is it consistent?  Timely?  Facilitate focus groups to hone in on the common threads.  Once you have determined what the issues are - take a look at your budget to determine what sort of communication vehicles you can afford to implement. Depending on the timing, location and sensitivity of the message there a number of vehicles from which to choose.  The Employee Handbook, Monthly Newsletters, Town Meetings and Social Media are all commonly used.  Choose your communication channels carefully.  Think about your audience and how to best communicate with them.  We tend to turn to e-mail first, but keep in mind that this is often the least effective way to get your message across.  When possible, face to face communication tends to be the most effective because we receive an immediate reaction, are able to clarify any confusion and people tend to listen more closely.

The key to a strong employee communication strategy is planning, followed by implementation and follow-up. Taking the time to communicate with your employees will help increase employee productivity, boost employee morale and ultimately improve the bottom line.