Business Communication Notes Checklist
It’s not always easy to know what ‘good’ business communication notes mean but, in short, it is any verbal, non-verbal or written leadership communications which successfully make employees feel listened to, appreciated and therefore motivated to perform well in the workplace. It is also an important tool in supporting employee retention so that the time your business spends training employees is not wasted.
If your business communication leads e.g. executives, managers or corporate affairs, are struggling to note down what areas of communication your business needs to be focusing on, we’ve pulled together this simple checklist for them to consider.
- Maintain an annual business communications plan
Be proactive. Make every effort to maintain a business communications plan for your entire business which signposts significant milestones, campaigns, and potential changes you have to share with your employees throughout the financial year. Whether you have a big deal coming up, a new executive joining the business or a change to your structure, managing a proactive planner will give you the time to prepare clear messaging and to choose the right channels to deliver your business communications effectively so that you can meet your objectives.
- Understand your audiences
Knowing all the different audiences within your business is a must. Every business has a variety of internal audiences with different expectations; within your communication plan breakdown each group and consider a different communications approach for each. If your business, for example, is about to restructure its managerial structure you might want to consider a town hall event for affected managers and perhaps a less formal leadership email for lower level employees, probably impacted, but not directly affected by the changes.
- Distribute clear and concise messaging
Don’t bog down employees with complex business communication notes. It is important to have messages which are tied into the short and long term priorities of a business, but when sharing this information make sure that it is easy for the your employees to understand to avoid any misunderstandings. Clearly state roughly 1-5 messages against each campaign in your plan so that your communication leads can easily and clearly cascade what your business wants to say to employees.
- Communicate your business’ values and culture
Keep your business’ values and culture at the forefront of your employees’ minds. By employing this tactic you will reinforce how your business differs from its competitors and, in turn, will help your employees understand your business’ core values and how they will assist in helping the business achieve its goals.
Continually look for ways to integrate your values and culture in verbal and written business communication notes. You might want to consider integrating your values and culture into written induction packs for new employees, town hall events or perhaps office posters with clear and compelling pictorial images.
- Consistently tell your story
Highlight how your business got to where you are today throughout your business communication notes. By sharing your heritage you will be able to increase employee engagement by giving employees a sense of ownership in the future of your business, and it will make them feel part of your growth story.
Find opportunities to talk about your business’ journey in any face to face events, induction packs, internal employee recognition schemes or annual newsletters.
- Share the ‘bigger picture’
Talk about the long term aspirations of your business. Tell your employees about your milestones and goals throughout your business communication notes, so that you can make them feel part of your business’ long term goals – it might also help employee retention amongst high achievers. Consider drawing up a shareable one page business roadmap which simply explains the ‘bigger picture’ for your business and your route for success.
- Never be afraid to be honest
Tell the truth. Employees will trust your business’ judgement and leadership better if they receive open and honest communications about your aspirations and challenges at all levels.
- Use the right channels
Choosing the right channels will prevent business communications from being misunderstood. The art of communications often lies in finding the right channel to tell a story or messages with impact – it is a given, for example, that more complex messages are always best communicated face to face so that employees can ask questions and not via an all staff email. As business communications mature email is increasingly seen as one of the least impactful channels of communication in the workplace, because it lacks interaction and can often be open to misinterpretation.
- Listen to employee feedback
Look for opportunities to ask your employees for feedback in relation to your business communications notes. Before launching an organisation wide campaign, for example, consider using small employee focus groups to discuss your planned messaging. You may also want to consider a regular communication satisfaction surveys.
Useful links and resources