Score Big with Town Hall Meetings

Every quarter, employees gather in the cafeteria for town hall meetings. The tables are removed, and seats are placed in neat rows. The podium, microphone, and projector screen are tested and ready.

As employees enter the room and take their seats, the senior vice president who will present the latest company information talks quietly with one of his direct reports. At 9 o’clock he steps up to the podium, says good morning and begins reading the first slide. By the third slide, the employees look bored and ready to leave.

Meetings like this don’t work. Employees prefer hearing company information from leaders who talk with them, not to them and engage them in authentic conversation and actions.

Polls have shown that most employees are not engaged, even during town hall meetings. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Leaders can turn boring town hall meetings into engaging experiences that score big with employees. As communicators, it’s our job to help leaders do it well so that they increase their credibility and build trust, which helps employees connect with the individual and the organization. Continue reading Score Big with Town Hall Meetings

Show Your Employees Some Love

Employee recognition can be given in many forms—money, praise, time off, fun activities, food, cookies, ice cream, perks, travel, or any number of rewards that fit your organization’s culture and bring smiles to employees.

Organizations that show appreciation for their employees frequently and in a genuine way demonstrate that they truly recognize and value their employees’ efforts. They show some love for their employees, and that can strengthen the relationship employees have with the organization.

Great employee recognition programs have a few common characteristics. If you align your efforts with these characteristics, your employees will likely develop a greater bond with the organization and its leaders. Continue reading Show Your Employees Some Love

Safety First Every Day

If safety isn’t your organization’s No. 1 priority, your business is at higher risk. Workplace injuries have far-reaching ramifications beyond the injured employee. Consider the effects on the employee’s family, other employees, the HR and legal departments and the organization’s reputation.

Every employee must be kept safe at work, and after their workday, they all should go home to their families as healthy as they came to work. Imagine if one of your employees didn’t go home to his or her family at the end of their workday. But you don’t have to have an accident or injury to see the risks when safety is not a priority. A series of near misses can have serious implications for workplace morale, organizational productivity and brand reputation.

Safety should be a way of doing business, not a short-term initiative that gets pushed down to employees until the concern recedes. Just as with other aspects of the business, leaders have a major role in the success of safety efforts.

A few basic ideas and practices can help any organization begin to address safety issues and move toward a safety culture that will help ensure the safety of employees, visitors, and perhaps even others in your community. Continue reading Safety First Every Day

Reach Your Non-wired Employees

Recently someone who is just beginning their career in employee communications asked me how they could reach manufacturing employees who don’t have computers or even a company email address. This is a challenge many manufacturing companies face because their employees don’t use computers in their jobs. Welders, for example, generally don’t have computers in their work area.

Employees who are not connected to the intranet, where company news is easily distributed, may be non-wired employees, but they are just as valuable as those with computers on their desks and they should be given company news and resources to help them stay engaged.

Employees don’t have to be connected to receive good messages that engage them on multiple levels. Various forms of employee communications were successful long before email and intranets. You just need to know your employees and how they are most likely to consume the messages you have to deliver. Tailor your tactics to your audience of employees, their location and their work schedules.

Continue reading Reach Your Non-wired Employees

Entrepreneurs Add Value

Entrepreneurs rock! They have a spirit that I find contagious and motivating. They have new ideas, drive and a customer focus that I think can add value to any company looking to grow or improve how they do business.

Today I met a few entrepreneurs at a 1 Million Cups networking event in Savannah. Some have successful businesses. Some are looking to start a business.

Jennifer Atkinson and her husband help people with disabilities become employees. Their Progressive Abilities Support Services (PASS) company has four offices in Florida and Georgia and works with individuals and employers. This is employee communication at the earliest stages — even before someone becomes an employee. Helping young people and those with disabilities learn how to be good employees is a great service to those involved and community at large.

Companies can learn from Atkinson’s work and recognize that employee communication starts with the first contact a prospective employee has with a company — often through the job requisition posted on a careers page.

Continue reading Entrepreneurs Add Value