Style, Tone, Standards – Not Just for Sinatra
Principles and standards are essential as benchmarks of quality against which all communications should be measured. They provide a guide to the style, tone and manner of communication while reflecting the organization’s values. As a starting point, consider defining benchmarks that state communications should be
- integrated with what is happening in the company that the employees are being affected by;
- straightforward, succinct and not overly complicated;
- unambiguous so that employees don’t become uneasy;
- comprehensive, including both the good and the bad news to enhance credibility; and
- personal and targeted to address the requirements of each group of employees so they understand how they are affected individually.
Lastly, communication needs to be constant. Like water, it needs to be fresh and continue to flow or the organization will become stagnant. The same message should be communicated over and over until employees say, “Stop, we get it! Stop communicating!” How often does that happen in your organization?