By Steven Kramer, WorkJam CEO and Co-Founder
Companies are starting to recognize that creating a positive corporate culture and diverse workforce isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s essential for business.
After all, diverse workplaces can attract and retain top talent, create happier and more productive employees, reach higher revenues and unleash innovation. Building a sense of organizational culture and implementing diversity initiatives isn’t easy. However, one thing is clear: Everything starts with effective internal communications.
As the co-founder of a communication and collaboration workplace platform, I’ve seen firsthand that when employees and managers have the tools to share ideas, give and receive feedback, set goals and celebrate progress, corporate cultures blossom. And with the rise of remote work, communication is more vital than ever.
There’s tremendous organizational potential in fostering a workplace — in person or remote — with strong values and diverse voices. Let’s look at five internal communications strategies to accomplish just that.
1. Use messaging to encourage community and collaboration.
We spend much of our lives at work. It’s natural to crave a “pro-people” environment geared toward collaboration, team building and friendships with co-workers. One way to accomplish this is by leveraging instant messaging tools and channels to help reduce friction and connect across teams, departments and borders. Teams should be able to share work updates or gather around the virtual watercooler.
When workers can talk freely and cultivate meaningful connections using company-approved communications, it naturally builds a strong sense of community.
2. Create a direct communication line between leadership and employees.
Communication can no longer be only top-down. To create a positive workplace, leaders and employees alike need to become active listeners and share thoughts, opportunities and concerns, as well as receive them. A strong internal communication strategy can bridge the gap between leadership and employees.
Team members — particularly front-line workers — feel empowered at their jobs when they feel connected to their company’s leadership. Trust in senior management is an important part of job satisfaction, which can grow through consistent, clear communication.
Those at the executive level should make it a point to send periodic updates, announcements and messages to front-line workers. Leaders don’t need to limit their “open door” policy to their physical office space; you can use instant messaging to communicate widely and respond quickly.
3. Empower employees with internal resources and activities.
It’s no secret that employees need to feel their best — mentally and physically — to contribute to a healthy company culture. Clarify which resources exist for employee mental health, preventive health and financial well-being, as well as how to access them. Check-ins, messages of support and group discussions can do wonders during difficult times.
The events of 2020 saw many companies announce efforts to fight racial and economic inequality. For example, Visa pledged to lead open community forums and offer 24/7 counseling services for Black employees. According to the American Psychological Association, 89% of workers at companies that support well-being initiatives are likely to recommend their company as a good workplace. I’ve also found a safe, healthy and welcoming workplace can help your employees perform their best, reduce turnover and attract exceptional candidates.
4. Collect employee feedback and track progress.
A seemingly simple yet effective method of promoting culture and diversity with internal communications is listening. Employees who feel heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel motivated and ready to perform their best work, according to a survey by Salesforce.
Front-line workers are the backbone of your company. They’ll understand what needs to change better than anyone. The more a company encourages a two-way dialogue with employees, the stronger its culture will be. To approach this, you can:
• Establish one-on-one time between employees and upper management for constructive feedback.
• Send engagement polls and surveys to capture employee opinions on different issues.
• Collect mandatory feedback, which can be private between HQ and other workers.
It’s crucial that employees feel comfortable asking questions and expressing their needs without judgment. Address this upfront by explaining any employee protections or allowing anonymous feedback.
5. Keep conversations on one communications platform.
As teams grow in size and complexity, it can be difficult to share information and messages quickly. Teamwork can be further complicated if you have workers in different countries and time zones, in addition to language or cultural barriers. This is why I suggest considering investing in a single platform; doing so can help streamline communication and collaboration, make information easier to find and enable workers to do their jobs without waiting on someone else or digging through siloed systems.
Consider adopting a solution that enables you to filter and target communications based on parameters such as employee roles, qualifications and location. Such capabilities enable you to send messages to the right employees. Whether you’re looking to communicate to the whole company or a select group, your communications solution must enable you to do so with ease.
Equipping your team with a robust communications platform is a natural way to bring growing workforces and dispersed teams together and get everyone working toward the same goals, under one digital roof.
Building Culture Through Communication
Culture and diversity are more than corporate check-the-box initiatives. When companies create opportunities to collaborate, embrace different perspectives and promote employee well-being, everyone benefits.
Get the conversation started — and unleash your workforce’s potential — with powerful communications.