Managing Employee Communication
Employee communications and consultation are central to the management process when dealing with changes in working practices and procedures and are essentially to involve and develop the people in an organisation. Employees will be able to perform at their best if they know their duties, obligations and rights and have an opportunity to make their views known to management on issues that affect them.
Communication is concerned with the exchange of information and ideas within an organisation and involves managers actively seeking and taking account of the views of employees before making a decision.
The key points are:
- Good employee communications and consultation can improve organisational and management performance and also improve decision-making.
- Employers should have a communications and consultation policy.
- Good communication and consultation should involve everyone in an organisation.
- Consultation involves taking account of as well as listening to the views of employees.
- Communication is a two-way process - information should flow up from employees and down from managers.
Managers need to communicate information to employees about:
- contractual terms and conditions of employment
- the job and its performance
- the organisation's performance progress and prospects
- changes to any of the above issues.
Methods of communication
A variety of communications methods will be needed, both spoken and written. The methods will depend mainly on the size and structure of the organisation. The methods include:
- face to face meetings
- company handbooks
- notice board
- organisation newsletters
- individual letters to employees
Here is an advisory booklet with further information on how to manage employee communications and consultation.