Today, the success of almost any business hinges on information, which increases in volume with each passing day. As the company evolves, it goes through a constant cycle of changes and updates in its product, service, promotion strategies, toolset, and many other areas. Therefore, it is critical that all company employees from the top down are on the same page.
To achieve this goal, companies need to implement and maintain an internal communication culture that supports effective knowledge sharing. This way, the marketing team will know about product enhancements in time to prepare the promotional campaign, and the customer service team will learn about a special offer before the customers do.
However, knowledge sharing does not happen on its own. It takes a lot of focused effort and cooperation to establish a culture of exchanging information within the company. In this article, we suggest the steps you can take to improve and enhance internal communication.
Internal communication is the most effective when implemented at all levels of the company hierarchy and leverages all the available tools and techniques. Here are a couple of tips that can help you establish or improve information-sharing processes in your company.
Promote knowledge sharing by creating spaces where employees can meet and talk, both formally and informally. Of course, in the times of working from home and social distancing, this can be challenging, however, technology can help you out here.
The implementation of an intelligent communication and collaboration platform is the first step towards creating a comprehensive knowledge-sharing environment.
Aim to choose internal communication software that enables various methods of communication - personal and group live chat, audio and video calls, video conferencing, file sharing and remote access.
With such a platform, you are enabling effective communication between your employees where they can share and receive the most up-to-date information about the company.
At the same time, leave enough room for informal communication. If you are back in the office, make sure there are enough comfortable spaces for water cooler banter.
Friday makes internal knowledge sharing more immediate.
With team check-ins, posts, goals, company handbook, and people profiles, the concept of knowledge sharing takes on a whole new dimension.
Think of it this way--where are the most important things at work? And how often are they accessed?
You can do this at Friday without relegating your value and culture away from your everyday, daily work.
Content is a powerful knowledge-sharing channel, both within the company and outside it. Your business can produce multiple types of content - newsletters, blog articles, social media posts, videos to share company knowledge.
What is especially great about company content is that employees can browse it at their pace at their convenient time. The important thing, though, is to communicate any content updates to the employees as soon as possible.
Different kinds of knowledge that need sharing may require different types of content. For example, the launch of a new marketing campaign can be announced in an internal newsletter or with a Friday post.
See how posts in Friday work, how they complement Slack and why they're perfect for meeting notes, company announcements, proposals and more.
On the other hand, specific guidelines on product usage are best placed in the knowledge base. A good practice is to maintain a comprehensive knowledge base for both external and internal use.
Employees browsing the knowledge base can not only gain information from it but also suggest additions and improvements. For example, customer service agents may have some valuable insights from the most frequent inquiries.
Information sharing should span all levels of the company hierarchy. The best way is when it starts from the top management and continues across all the lower levels.
Today, company managers are no longer demigods that are out of reach of other staff. On the contrary, they are members of the business flow, as much as all other employees. And, similarly to the rest of the company personnel, they should participate in the information exchange processes.
To encourage top-down communication, consider implementing regular town hall meetings where the chief officers of the company report on the status of the business, the actual and anticipated challenges, achievements, and failures.
Posts in Friday can help you start the town hall and regular check-ins can help you know what to discuss at the townhall or all-hands.
Such meetings are also a great time to answer employee questions (a good practice is to call for questions a couple of days in advance for easier moderation). This way, the management gets to know the concerns of the employees and find points of improvement.
At the same time, promote knowledge sharing in the opposite direction, too.
Any company employee can have a great idea, and the company should make it possible for them to voice it.
Note: Use Friday Posts for your employees or team members to make suggestions or generate new ideas.
Each new member of the company should immediately see that their opinions are valued and listened to. Include knowledge-sharing principles and opportunities in the onboarding flow, so that each new employee gets started with you knowing that their voice will be heard.
At the same time, by encouraging information sharing from the very beginning, you reduce the chances of communication breakdown.
If you encourage new employees to share ideas, you will make their onboarding easier, too. They will take less time to adapt to their new place of work and start contributing to the company’s development.
Besides, an employee seeing your business with fresh eyes can have original ideas that have not occurred to anyone yet. Make sure they have someone to talk to and that they are comfortable doing so.
A good practice is to assign mentors to new employees. Through mentorship, knowledge is exchanged more effectively, as mentors usually belong to the same team or line of business as the new employees. In this case, they will share the information specifically relevant to their work.
Identify experts in different areas within your staff and give them an opportunity to share their knowledge, skills, and expertise. You can set up regular webinars and masterclasses on the subjects that can be useful for other employees in your company.
Depending on the specifics of the expertise, such events can be company-wide or held only for a certain group of people. Make sure to announce such knowledge-sharing sessions in advance and allow people to sign up for them.
Do not focus only on professional skills and expertise, though, consider soft skills and hobbies, too. One of your employees can be an expert on fitness and wellness, and another will have a lot to share on time management. Give them the floor to tell others what they know.
In such sessions, people get to know each other better, can establish closer contacts and make friendships, and find more points of contact. As a result, the working environment becomes healthier and more productive, which is going to have a positive effect on your business processes at the end of the day.
No matter how big or small an employee’s contribution to the company’s knowledge is, it always deserves recognition. No one should feel that their suggestion or opinion went unnoticed.
Depending on the value of the employee’s contribution, you can choose the form of recognition.
Often, a simple “thank you” is enough, especially when said in front of the entire team.
Alternatively, you can mention the employee in the company’s newsletter or make it a public Friday kudos and push it to your Slack channels.
When the contribution is especially valuable, consider giving a gift or bonus.
Information sharing brings tons of benefits, both to your business and the people who work with you. When everyone is on the same page, both internal and external communication is much more effective, which, in turn, has a positive effect on all areas of your business.
Friday is your home for work.
At Friday, the focus is on solving the "what's going on?" problem that remote and hybrid companies face they try to scale.
Friday is your company home that glues together your most important work together, helping your organization work in an office-optional world. You can see how it works in the video below:
At Friday, you’ll have a simple and an automated way to share regular updates about what you are working on, enabling the regular flow of information without another meeting. You also get more to keep your team working together asynchronously -- like icebreakers, goals, employee milestones, a company handbook, and people profiles!