Do you use direct managers as a communication channel for non-desk employees? The default method for reaching employees on the production line, in the distribution centers and on the sales floor is usually to depend on their managers to communicate what corporate communicated to them.
The thing is, few managers in these settings would consider themselves communications professionals. In Tribe’s national research on non-desk employees, managers said they’d like more communications support in the form of tools and training.
When it comes to communications tools, putting them online can be best. Of those who said they wanted additional materials, 57 percent responded in favor of using online materials. Comments of respondents included, “Printed material tend to be a waste unless you are going through them line by line,” and “I prefer [supporting materials] to be online reports.”
Other quotes included: “I would like [supporting materials] to be online resources,” “I think [support materials] should be online,” and “[I would rather] have online resources!”
Providing tools like talking points or FAQs can be particularly effective. In fact, they address one of the few faults that the 2012 respondents found with communications delivered through direct managers: inconsistency of message.
These tools can be simple. In fact, they should be. No need for tons of paragraphs or pages. Give them a one-pager with the overall key message and a few bullet points. Maybe offer suggested responses to questions employees might ask.
Interested in developing communications tools for your company’s managers? Tribe can help.