In the ever-evolving workplace, it is becoming more and more important that companies keep up with news relating to their industry. This has always been an important factor in running a successful business, but what has changed is the need for your employees to also be in the loop.
Meetings and lengthy email chains have usually been the common way to do this. This isn't always the best approach, and with everything happening so fast, it's rarely effective to hold a meeting for every development. You’re busy and so are your employees. So what exactly can you do to make sure you're communicating industry news effectively?
1. Have Your Employees Follow Relevant Social Media Accounts
A great way to get around making an announcement for every little development is to simply not announce them yourself at all.
To achieve this, have your employees follow industry leaders who are consistently sharing the news that you want your employees to know about. Using a content curation platform can help you to automatically aggregate topic-specific articles shared by vetted news sources and social media personalities to save your employees time and effort.
A great thing about this approach is that you can actually set the requirement for who to follow based on the industry. For example your graphic artists can follow industry trends, your account managers can follow news about clients and likewise, for any other departments you may have. Too much information can sometimes be a problem, so being able to give specific employees the information they need without too much other noise is a big asset to your communications.
2. Company Newsletters
Industry news can sometimes be lost in an endless chain of emails, making recalling it when needed a bit of a chore. You can avoid this by putting all the information in one place. A company newsletter can be a great solution.
You may already have one of these running to some degree. While you can certainly upgrade your newsletter to add industry news in, and possibly send it more frequently to keep updates more current, it's worth looking into creating a separate communication just for industry news. You can break this down even further and send them out per department.
3. Utilize Trello or a Similar Project Management Software
At backstitch, we heavily utilize Asana to manage our tasks and set up specific projects both internally and shared with our customers. However, Project Management tools can also be utilized as an easy and lightweight channel for sharing industry research and information. If you are already using one of these tools and you’re just getting started collecting industry-related content, consider using your project management app in a new and interesting way.
Create cards within topic-specific boards for company news and add links to articles that are important for employees to read. Another great aspect of this is you can communicate information to team members using project boards that are the most relevant to each department, and add people to the cards who need to know the information most.
4. Company Chats Like Slack or Skype
Group chats for companies are a great way to boost productivity and communication overall, but you can also use it to keep people informed.
You may already have group chats for your departments along with a main company one. Consider posting links to relevant industry content or company news on these depending on who should be aware of it. With Slack, you can even tag people in the message to make sure they know it's important to them. If your company utilizes multiple chat tools, backstitch Studio is a great tool that enables you to draft a single message, and publish to all of your relevant channels.
5. Encourage Employees to Engage with the Industry
The best way to get employees to stay up to date is to create an atmosphere in which they want to. Implementing the ideas above is a great way to promote this, but there are always you can do more.
Besides implementing the ideas above look at taking or sending employees to events relevant to their department or your industry, encourage the discussion around your industry within the office (this is great for turning employee banter into useful information-sharing), and take time to discuss important developments face to face.
At backstitch we encourage team members to regularly participate at Friday All Hands meetings in what we call “Explain Like I’m Five” presentations. Where the goal is to take any topic that they are interested in and try to explain it to a group of peers “in 5 slides in 5 minutes in a way that a 5 year old could understand.” This has been not only a great way to foster collaboration but has been a source for creating new and interesting on-boarding, training and development materials.
If your employees simply do not care about what they are doing or the industry they work in, then any efforts will likely be a hollow effort. So work to keep your employees in the know and continue to look for new and unique ways to keep everyone informed, connected and passionate about the impact of what they’re doing every day.
Curious to learn more about some unique new ways you can keep your team informed and in the know?