How to Develop a Communication Plan
When we talk about developing communications strategy, we refer to creating a plan that focuses on a particular message meant for a specific audience. When a plan is thought out well and is developed based on the needs and wants of employees, organizations see more open communication between management and staff, resulting in more employee engagement and an increase in morale and productivity.
When coming up with a communications plan, consider the following questions:
1. Why do you want to communicate with your workforce? Or what is your purpose?
When developing communications strategy, what you need to do first is to establish your purpose. Why do you want to communicate with your employees? If you know the whys of the things you do, you will be able to come up with the proper methodology for implementing your strategy. For example, you may want to communicate with your employees because it seems that your employee turnover may be at all-time high. You may want to open lines of communication with your employees to find out if they are dissatisfied with their work or with their company. You may also discover solutions you can opt for to increase employee retention and engagement.
2. Who do you want to communicate with? Or who is your audience?
Who is it that you want to talk with? While in general, you may want to have open lines of communication with your whole workforce, there may be instances wherein you may be developing communications strategy for particular employees. For example, you may want to speak to new hires in the company and the purpose of this communication may be to welcome them into the organization and to educate them on the policies and protocols of the business. Knowing who your audience is will help you better come up with a message that speaks to them directly, and makes a positive impression with them.
3. What is your message?
What do you want to say? This, is of course, the foundation of any communications plan.
When coming up with a message, make sure that you utilize language that is simple, straightforward and concise. This is to avoid any frustration or confusion on the part of employees. With simple and straightforward language, staff members will be better able to understand and relate to what you have to say.
4. How do you intend to distribute your message? Or through which platform do you intend to relay your message?
There are tons of platforms, channels and tools out there that you can opt for when developing your plan. Make sure you opt for the methodology that is fitting to your purpose, audience and message. For example, if you want to update your employees regarding company news and updates on a regular basis, the best platform you can opt for is a company newsletter. Not only will this a predictable tool that staff members can turn to for the information they require on a regular basis, this platform can also further camaraderie and employee engagement. Another example would be the utilization of the intranet, a private portal for company employees. The intranet not only serves as the site wherein information is shared, it also serves as an archive of previous queries and answers.
When developing communications strategy, remember that it isn’t a one-time thing. A communications plan is a strategy that needs constant evaluation, review, tweaking and distribution. While audiences, purposes and even messages may change, the goal of communication remains the same – to boost employee engagement and to open the lines of communication between management and staff.