Mapping out the perfect internal communication plan will help your company stay on the right track all year long.
My favorite part of the summer is going to the zoo, partly because I am an animal whisperer... not really. The animals are always being social when I am there. One time while at the zoo, I placed my hand on the glass to get a closer look at a giant gorilla (they are one of my favorites) and the gorilla pressed his hand against mine. I know I know, too good to be true. It happened though, and it happens all the time.
I have even seen a polar bear dance, but then he got in trouble.
Either way, I truly enjoy zoos and make it a priority to go annually to each one in the area. Part of my zoo ritual — getting the map. The map tells you how to stay on course, and helps you along the way if you get confused or a little lost.
Likewise, you need a map for your office. Outlining your internal communication plan will keep you and your employees on the right path. Similar to the different sections of of the zoo, there are different parts to your internal communication map that must be covered.
This area of the park is the ticket counter. Before you get too far into your plan, you need to establish who assumes what role and who is assigned to which tasks. It is important to not only assign these tasks and roles, but to also have a place to keep these responsibilities. You want to keep everyone on the same page. Sharing your map with your staff once a month is a great reminder and keeps everyone together and following the same path. Someone has to shepherd the office!
Map out your monthly meetings. These are your bigger meetings that keep your company on track. Meetings come in all shapes and sizes. There are physical meetings. These are the standard (or standing) meetings that we are all accustomed to. Everyone gathers around and one person leads or facilitates the meeting. The next type of meeting is a virtual meeting, we use Google Hangout. With Google Hangout you can video chat a number of participants at the same time. These virtual meetings are great for companies with remote employees.
And the final meeting type is a multimedia one. There may be multimedia elements throughout the other types of meetings but multimedia meetings are those that are packaged all into one message. Ving can be used to incorporate a meeting outline, a personal video from the CEO, any policy updates, and/or a quick survey. This works well for remote departments, or team members that may not have a lot of overlap time in the office.
The next thing you need to map out is training. Even for your veteran workers it is important to supply your employees with current knowledge or continuing education. Whether this is training on new software or sharing the occasional TED talk — it is important to feed your employees’ brain. Fifty two percent of employees, according to Accenture, say that a company's choice of technology is a major factor in selecting a future employer. Provide training for those new technologies so that all of your employees are on the same page.
Visiting and planning all three parts of the park will keep your team on the right path to optimize your team performance. Create checkpoints along the trail of your internal communication plan for your employees. Together your company will meet these goals, and more than likely, they will succeed them. So sit down and create your map!
If this is your first internal communication plan to make sure to include a "you are here" mark. This will reassure you and your employees that everyone is starting from the same spot. It is equally important to review where you are before you make checkpoints. You do not want to make goals that are completely unachievable, but on the other hand, you don’t want your checkpoints to be overly easy to obtain.