Ragan Communications reports that "Employee Engagement Is (A) Top Challenge For 2013": Executives don't agree with communicators that it's a top priority ("engagement didn't even make the list.")
In any large, complex organization, internal communication must normally go through many bureaucratic hoops to be approved. Also, operational matters frequently crowd out what seem like "mushy" matters to executives.
If you are eager to promote internal communication, but are finding it a daunting hassle, here are 5 tactics that I've used across three government agencies. They may be helpful to you:
1. Daily News Clips: Circulate to managers; include blog, twitter and Facebook mentions; make available to all by posting on the Intranet. The more information available to employees, provided by you, the better.
2. Repurpose External Interviews: If a senior leader gave an interview to the media, share it with employees or do a weekly roundup. External media tend to force leaders to answer more critical and objective questions because they are answering to the public.
3. Simplify Existing Language for Factsheets: These are always needed and if you use existing language, not objectionable. Take a policy guidebook and turn it into a one-pager with graph, chart, or FAQ. Do not change the language; only bullet it, shorten it, and generally make it more accessible.
4. Provide a "News You Can Use" Weekly Email: This gives executives an opportunity to share important information, and employees want to hear directly from executives. Most of the email should be substantive but some of it should provide strategic context around news and updates.
5. Rally Around Giving Activities: Campaigns that occur regularly, like the CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) in government, are an opportunity for people to let loose a bit for a good cause. Chili cook-offs, book sales, potluck lunches, and similar activities are good for the spirit, the soul and the community.