Building a Communications Plan for School Employees
Part I Getting Started
Schools and school districts tend to have robust communications plans to reach students and families. Schools produce a lot of information, from emails to apps to social media and in-person effects. But how much of this information is for their staff members? And when communication is sent to school employees, is it sent as an afterthought or with intentionality? Strong, thoughtful and regular communication with all staff members should be a priority, as they are essential stakeholders in the organization's success. Building a robust internal communications plan will help boost morale, create a collaborative work environment and foster two-way communication.
Here are four ideas to help get your internal communication plan started.
- Start with a survey – keep it short but ask questions that will provide actionable answers. Include questions that ask the preferred communication method, items or issues they want to know more about, and how often they want to be communicated to. Even if your school or district already communicates with your staff, survey them to see how effective it is. To encourage participation, offer an incentive. Maybe it’s lunch for the department with the highest return rate or a drawing of several names for gift cards to local establishments.
- Hold department meetings in the school facilities that encourage two-way communication. Provide an update on new policies, benefits and events while allowing for an open dialogue so they can ask you questions. Be sure to include time for staff recognition as well.
- Schedule time for one-on-one meetings and meet with people where they are. Set up office hours in the cafeteria or bus garage and visit teachers in their classrooms or workrooms. Listening to people in their environment encourages an honest exchange of ideas.
- Form an internal communication committee with a small group of staff members from throughout the district and empower them to provide ideas on what information is needed and the platform used. Forming a committee will bring more engagement and buy-in to the messages being delivered.
Now that information has been solicited and collected, what’s next? We will cover that in our next blog. Until then, reach out to us with any questions you may have. Our experts in internal communications can help you develop and execute a plan that focuses on the needs of your school or district.