Communications 9/30/2015

Your Go-To Communications Toolkit

As you develop your communications plan, make sure to involve department managers. They’re a valuable resource that can make or break your communications campaign. And here’s why…
Department managers typically talk to employees at least once a week, if not every day. When you involve them early and get them on board, they can spread your message and influence how employees react to it. The last thing you want is to have managers dismiss a new HR initiative.

To help gain manager support, consider making the following materials part of your go-to communications toolkit. You can deliver these tools through normal business updates or post online in a secured “manager toolkit” section on your Intranet.

  • Talking points. Stick to the three main things you want employees to know – what’s this about, how does it impact me, what do I have to do. Managers don’t need to know all the details, but they should know the key points and where to direct employees for more information.
  • Frequently asked questions: FAQs are a good tool for managers to have on hand to understand the HR initiative and any possible issues that may arise.
  • Template materials and messaging: If applicable, provide managers with the materials they need to spread the message through local resources.
  • Communicationss training: Encourage your organization to spend a larger portion of their training dollars and resources to help managers become better communicators. It’s an investment that will pay off for the company as well as the managers themselves.

Additional tips

  • Inform managers first. Let managers review the materials before sending them to employees. This gives managers time to ask questions and plan ahead.
  • Encourage managers to share ideas. Encourage managers to share ideas with one another. An approach that works in one location will probably work well in another.
  • Use surveys to see if messages are cascaded correctly. Survey employees after the rollout to see if key messages were received and understood. If misunderstandings are centralized in one area, you might have a communication “block” to unplug.