Greentube’s growth has been rapid over the last few years, and this growth has brought with it the introduction of new verticals with different visions and goals, along with increased diversity in business operations and personnel. Having a common communication strategy is therefore extremely helpful to get every member of the organisation up to speed with the newest updates, happenings and opportunities. The range of topics an internal communication department has to deal with is broad and variable, starting with regular updates from the management board to adapting the weekly menu available at the Greentube restaurant. Before we delve into this any deeper, let us first look at the topic of internal communication in general.
“One cannot not communicate”. – Paul Watzlawick
While this is a general quote, it is also true for internal communication in businesses. This is especially true if people are working closely with each other and dealing with complicated issues. In these cases, the risk of providing misleading signals or creating misconceptions if communication is not clear is very high. This might result in wrong outcomes or project delays if employees don’t have the full spectrum of information they need.
Communication is more than providing information. While information can be defined as sharing in one direction, communication is the interaction between two or more people. Communication is dialogue. For companies, this leads to two different strategies when interacting with their employees. On the one hand, they need to ensure that employees have exactly the information they need in order to complete their tasks successfully. On the other hand, there is the need for conversations to dig deeper into the current mood, requirements, wishes and demands. Having insights into the mood of the company’s employees is a meaningful tool for an HR department in order to know if any actions need to be taken. Of course, it is the goal of every HR department to make sure that employees are satisfied and feel like they have organisational support.
At Greentube, internal communication has already gone through several stages, and continues to develop and adapt in order to ensure continuous communication is provided via different channels. Unsurprisingly, we started as almost every other company does: we communicated in person and via Email. Emails are great when the number of colleagues is at a manageable size. As soon as the number grows and tasks and responsibilities get clearly distinguished from each other, the complexity grows too. The next stage therefore, was to develop dedicated communication channels and create an overall structure of required topics that needed to be regularly communicated. E-mail distribution lists were created for our different verticals and hierarchy levels in order to share pinpointed communication for the different target groups within the organization. We then adapted our intranet and turned it into the central communication platform within the company. At the moment, we announce information via short teasers directly on the Intranet homepage. Colleagues who are interested in these teasers can then dig deeper into the information by reading the article and any other attached information. Also, all departments within the company can share important updates, progress on projects and product launches via such a teaser. This enables us to also keep the communication from employees to employees going. We are constantly working to improve this approach and there is a lot more to come. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that this method is very effective when it comes to distributing information in a fast and uncomplicated manner. The information is presented clearly and succinctly, ensuring readers know at one glance what the information is about.
For employees, this does mean they have to proactively look up information and decide on their own whether this is relevant to them or not. This might seem like an increase in work, but in fact, it leads to a smaller number of emails and the risk of overlooking a specific one decreases. We have changed our approach from push to pull.
A feedback platform has now been implemented to improve interaction with colleagues and achieve better and more honest feedback. By implementing this platform, management and human resources get direct feedback on the current mood within the company. In addition to this, feedback can be given anonymously, questions posted are answered and specific information as a reaction to individual questions can be provided. This method of communication has become even more important during the pandemic, as personal interaction opportunities and the ability to have informal chats have massively decreased. With this platform, employees can express their mood, their anger and also their needs and provides the company with the opportunity to react to this feedback.
There are a lot of projects planned for the future, and these fast-changing times require constant adaptation of our communication channels. One project we are currently working on is updating our Town Hall Meeting format so that it also allows our subsidiaries to take part. Increasing the relevance of the information provided on the internal channels will then be our next step. This needs the feedback and the commitment of all of our employees to make this the next success story, so we will be working closely with them to achieve this. We are already looking forward to these upcoming challenges.
To conclude, communication in companies should not only be one-way. It should also be a mutual exchange between different groups, hierarchies and areas within an organization to make sure that resources can be shared in the best possible way and experts/skilled people help each other in their field of expertise. Especially during the current pandemic, when the majority of people are working from home, it is also important to have a tool that is able to measure and evaluate the employees’ mood in order to support them according to their needs in the best possible way.
If you would like to get more information on how Greentube continues to develop as a company and improve both its internal and external communication, then please follow us on our various social media channels such as LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook, or watch this space for more interesting insights into life at Greentube.
If you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, then do not hesitate to contact us, we love hearing opinions and experiences with these topics!