How Government Institutions Can Improve Employee Communications
An astounding 97% of employees drawn from the government and private sector strongly believe proper communication affects their daily work.
Communication strategies for government are critical to ensuring optimized delivery of government services to stakeholders. With this in mind, it is important that every government agency assess their employee communication, identify current challenges, and implement the best practices. Read on for insights from experts on how to improve government employee communications.
Getting internal communication in government agencies isn’t without challenges. The most common of these challenges are as highlighted, including suggestions on how to overcome them.
- Too Much Focus on External Communication
Many agencies put too much effort into external communication, specifically telling the public about their services, initiatives, and projects. While external communication is crucial, it shouldn’t be at the expense of internal communication with employees.
As such, government institutions’ communication strategies should give attention to both external and internal communication. Creating and implementing a clear internal communication plan should be a priority, and receive the necessary resource allocation.
- Organizational Structure
Government institutions are largely hierarchical and bureaucratic. Without an overarching plan, there remains a possibility of communication not filtering through to the employees at the lower levels.
Of course, overcoming this challenge requires managers to be intentional with government employee communication and implement clear and streamlined protocols.
- Information Overload
Look at written internal communication in government, and you’ll realize how notoriously jargon-filled they are. Such jargon can easily lead to misunderstandings among employees. Instead, every agency should focus on communicating in plain, clear, and concise language.
Additionally, it can be overwhelming for employees to receive information from other departments and government agencies without streamlining the flow. This overflow, especially if the information isn’t exactly relevant can interfere with productivity and cause burnout. Again, the way around this challenge is to have a clear communication plan that defines how to share information.
- Low/Lack of Employee Engagement
In the absence of a culture that encourages two-way communication, employee engagement is sure to take a hit. Government agencies looking to turn around employee communication should allow team members to provide feedback and be actively engaged.
Role of Internal Communication
Effective communication, especially with the employees, is the backbone of every government institution. The benefits of good communication strategies for government agencies cut across various areas, as outlined.
- Government Employee Engagement
Employees at all levels feel valued and engaged when there is an effective strategy for internal communication in government. Highly engaged staff who feel seen and heard will have a positive attitude and will be committed to being their most productive at all times.
- Understanding Goals and Action Plan
Each government institution has a clear mandate and a set of goals and objectives to meet. Employees can only make a meaningful contribution when they clearly understand these objectives. Effective communication in government ensures all team members are on the same page regarding the agency’s vision, goals, and strategy. Such clarity will help members better align their efforts toward realizing these goals.
- Driving Innovation
Government institutions with a communication policy that encourages employees to proactively suggest new ideas and initiatives benefit significantly from the inspired innovation. Accompanying these initiatives is increased efficiency in operational processes and an upturn in the quality of work, all to the benefit of those served by these agencies.
- Empowerment to Work Independently and Collaboratively
Effective employee communication empowers the team to be more effective. When communication is clear, and you trust employees to make decisions and not just follow the rules, they become highly effective and independent. Similarly, teamwork and cross-functional collaboration are seamless when there is effective internal communication in government institutions. This collaboration extends to working with other departments within the agencies, as well as collaborating with other government agencies.
- Improved Employee Retention
In the final analysis, effective internal communication in government significantly impacts employee satisfaction, morale, and loyalty. As long as employees feel seen and heard, you can be sure they’ll be happy to stay and invest their skills and time in the institution’s goals.
What Technology Solutions to Use
Research shows that 62% of employees feel more engaged when they have access to the right workplace technology, which undoubtedly includes the right employee communication technology. Even though there are hundreds of options, this section will only look at a few tools that can be an absolute game changer in government employee communications.
- Collaboration Tools
Most collaboration tools allow for simultaneous multiple-user access and change-tracking features. Team members have one place to keep project notes, allowing everyone to share and receive real-time feedback for better collaboration among government employees. Google Workspace, Slack, and Trello are among the top collaboration tools.
- Digital Signage
Digital signage allows the flexibility to create customized content. Additionally, this technology solution is innately engaging, which is a plus for internal communication in government institutions.
Indeed, digital signage is highly versatile and can be used across different government institutions. From the hallways to meeting rooms, there are several options to choose from on where to put digital signage in government institutions and boost internal communication. Unlike the outdated bulletin boards that were synonymous with government agencies for a long time, digital signage is vibrant, and employees will be eager to interact with these solutions.
- Instant Messaging Tools
Because it may not always be practical to send an email or pick up the phone to ask a team member a quick question, sending a quick message may be the best option. In this case, instant messaging tools such as Slack and Flock are highly effective. These technology solutions are an excellent addition to the internal communication in government mix as they provide an agile way to exchange information quickly.
The intranet is a powerful tool for internal communication in government. Employees across various locations can conveniently access documents, news, event updates, and more information on the intranet. In fact, some government agencies have a mobile intranet app for easy access and engagement even on the go.
Promoting Employee Engagement
Several factors come into play in achieving government employee engagement. Building a positive work culture that encourages employees at all levels to speak up respectfully is a good place to start. Such a culture speaks of the government’s ability to embrace diversity of thought and appreciate different outlooks.
Also, the various communication techniques and methods aren’t equal. Actually, 56% of internal communication teams are embracing digital signage, and with good reason, one of which is the level of engagement. Content such as social media posts, forums, surveys, and polls on your signage encourages employee engagement. In summary, your communication channels should encourage participation, dialogue, and feedback.
How do you measure the success of communication strategies for the government? Through metrics such as information sharing and employee engagement levels.
Performance evaluations based on these metrics will provide insights into what you are doing right and what needs further attention. Success on various fronts will mean increased collaboration, improved productivity, and minimal conflicts, among other benefits.
Enhance Your Employee Communication Today
Even though internal communication in government institutions has challenges, you can certainly overcome them for the best results. It should be noted that implementing clear communication strategies and leveraging technology solutions can turn things around for your institution. In the end, the benefits of good communication will ultimately impact service delivery to the citizens.