4 Steps to Create an Internal Communication Plan to Prevent Misunderstandings
Posted on September 25, 2018 by Denny Leffel
Internal communications go on every minute of the day in business operations. This is an efficient way of getting information to someone without having to pick up the phone or leave your workspace. Talking via internal channels goes well until it doesn’t, primarily due to its text-based nature. Someone says something that can be read different ways, and all of a sudden everyone’s getting it wrong. Or someone feels like they can’t speak up because they’ll get censured by others or even risk their position simply for opening their mouth.
Your operation needs an internal communication plan to prevent issues from cropping up and hindering how things get done. The following are four steps to help you create a fair and balanced plan that fosters employee communication.
You can’t create an effective plan if you don’t know what’s going on. And you’re not going to get anywhere if you create a blanket statement of a plan that shuts down everything apart from a specific style of team communication. Talk to your employees and find out what they feel is needed for an effective internal communication plan.
Consider creating an anonymous poll to get honest feedback and use that information to create a plan.
2. Plan to Make a Plan
This is where you determine what needs to go into the plan. Are you looking to get more employee engagement on a communications app? Is there a new menu that introduces fresh dishes to the restaurant, and you want staff to know about every change? Or are there constant internal complaints about a specific issue, such as staff not refilling condiments on the tables?
Lay out what it is you want to improve or clarify in the internal communications plan. It’s far simpler to build out what you want to achieve when you have a framework to build upon.
3. Make Sure to Address the Problems
It’s one thing to make a plan, but if you’re ignoring the broader problems in pursuit of having something that people can fall back on if there’s trouble, you’re not fixing the issue. If you’re looking to create an environment to engage employees, you need to create parameters that allow for expression without retaliation and to have them in writing.
Employees won’t speak up if they think expressing their opinion is going to cost them their job. And if someone is shutting down conversation with their opinions, you need to figure out how to create a platform where everyone can make their voice heard.
One problem that often goes unnoticed is when a communication medium isn’t as robust and well-designed as it should be. There’s nothing worse than an app that needs a material design overhaul and more intuitive operation. Employees on the go need to be able to pull up the app quickly, locate the relevant tabs without much thought, and reply without needing more than a couple of minutes to communicate effectively. Poll employees to find out if the current app is unresponsive and clunky and consider upgrading to one like Crew.
Simplify communication and turn up teamwork!
Improve team communication and scheduling all in one place. Manage schedules and shift covers without the hassle, stay organized and informed and save time with Crew.
4. Know Who the Stakeholders Are
Stakeholders are the people who are going to be affected most by the creation and implementation of a communication plan. A key stakeholder is the person or people who are responsible for their staff and information dissemination.
In a restaurant or retail setting, you have managers and other authority figures who keep an eye on the movement and activities of the employees tasked to perform various duties. These are your key stakeholders because they are the ones who help implement the plan and make sure employees are sticking to the communication plan. Key stakeholders can get this done by observing how people are interacting with customers, monitoring conversation on a communications app, and putting out directives to inform employees that they need to follow the plan when doing their job.
As long as you’re aware of who the key stakeholders are, you can monitor team management and make sure they’re doing their job.
It takes work to create a plan that covers most of the problems that arise from internal communications. The Crew app is designed to help you make your plan easier to implement and keep your employees informed. Check out the app to learn more about how it can facilitate your internal communication plan.