Do it Right: Communicating with staff

How to communicate key decisions to your team

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Involve your team. Ask people what information they need and how they want to hear about it. Use your intranet for free two-way communication. Let your staff air their gripes without fearing the consequences.

Keep it fresh. Don't recycle old material - your staff aren't stupid, and they'll soon stop reading. Be inventive, rather than relying on cut-and-paste.

Make it relevant. People should know why they're receiving a message and understand how it relates to their job. Pick appropriate media, and make sure when they're reading it they're not wondering 'who is this person?'

Ditch the jargon. No-one wants to read about helicopter views, blue skies and low-hanging fruit - unless they're planning a holiday. Keep the language clear and instantly understandable, without being patronising.

No spinning. Keep your communications straightforward and backed up by facts. Your readers will be quick to spot any attempts at gloss, and you'll struggle to win back an untrusting audience.

Don't shy away from bad news. We live in a cynical world, and no-one believes that everything is all sweetness and light. Tell them what has gone wrong, why it didn't work, and what you're going to do to fix it.

Avoid clashing messages. Do you really want to announce a cost-cutting initiative to people who've just read about the chief executive's bonus? Think about the timing.

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