In my earlier article titled "Workplace Communication - A Practitioner's View", I had suggested deployment of a strategy as part of a comprehensive approach to employee communication.
Just to re-emphasize, I had suggested that the Workplace-Communication is a self-perpetuating process that aids the organization in achieving its goals by;
Here, I will now elaborate on the substance of a strategy for Workplace-Communication. Before we begin, let us hold a common meaning of strategy as "a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term objective".
Workplace-Communication is somewhat akin to "internal advertising" with clarity on "Above The Line" and "Below The Line" approaches. The underlying purpose of the Workplace-Communication strategy is to keep employees adequately informed all the time regarding the current status of business, future prospects, issues concerning their jobs & careers, market conditions, etc., essential to achieve a greater congruence between organizational & individual, goals & efforts.
So what are the core elements of a sound Workplace-Communication strategy?
Development of the strategy
There is no point in presuming what employees would like to know or should know. It is a common sense as well as a daunting task. While developing a Workplace-Communication strategy, the organization should consider aspects like employee demographics, average education profile, average age profile, cultural diversity, language proficiency, etc. It would be worthwhile to do a dipstick on "what, when & how" employees would like to know about the business of the organization as well as about their jobs & careers. While every employee need not receive all the information, he / she should certainly get what is relevant to him or her at the right time.
Classification of information or data
Having identified "what, when & how" employees would like to know, each piece should be classified in terms of criticality and target audience. Classification should also include who should know what, when, how and from whom. The moot point is that the employees have the first right to information about the organization, and if they come to know about their organization from the external agencies, then the organization stands to lose credibility. This component has a stand alone weight also when the organization does not have a strategy for workplace communication.