15 tips how to involve the board in communications with their employees

Not every internal communication specialist has the opportunity to co-operate with the board  opened for communications with their employees. But there are ideas to encourage the board to change their attitude and engage in a dialogue with their teams.

1.    Give your board the access to the IC tools. Book the space in the internal media for the board’s members. You can use a regular column in the internal newspaper, videos published regularly on the intranet or an occasional chat with employees about an important issue which appeared in the company.

2.    Take the initiative. Don’t wait for the board to see you and ask for your help. Suggest solutions, show possible effects, but also what may happen if the board don’t take relevant communication actions.

3.    Offer your support. If you know about a planned company action for employees sponsored by the board, offer your support in the communication process of this event. At once prepare a few ideas or create a communication schedule to implement in which you plan the board’s communication with their employees.

4.    Become the ghostwriter. It’s a hidden writer, a person who prepares speeches or other announcements on behalf of their clients who sign such material as their own. Ghostwriter stays anonymous. Offer your board to write an email to all employees or an article for an internal newspaper about one important topic using the board’s quotes in it.

5.    Show advantages of the IC. Every time you have the opportunity to talk to your board about your duties, discuss not only your plans and finished projects. Always show advantages of the IC for employees and the ones which build the image of the board and the company.

6.    Boast about your effects. Measure effects of your actions in the internal communication. Be prepared to show the statistic of the tools or employees’ opinions about taken IC actions. Particularly the ones which the board took part in.

7.    Talk about expectations of the employees. Examine, listen and check what your employees need from the board about the IC. It’s a strong argument to persuade the board to start a dialogue with its employees.

8.    Train to encourage. If the board aren’t willing to take actions in the internal communication with employees actively, organise a training where the board of the company may learn details of this field and which could also train their skills concerning, e.g. public speaking. In such a case it’s good to hire external experts, also known people from the media, who apart from their knowledge and experience, may also offer the prestige from having contact with them

9.    The board say ‘no’? Find one person willing. If the offer for the board to join the communications with their employees is, e.g. too time consuming for them, find just one board member who would take the challenge in the very limited scope only. After some time – when the others will see the results of their work – they may feel encouraged or even be jealous and they’ll find your offers favourable.

10.    Look for allies. Among your manager or people who cooperate with the board constantly. Ask them for the support, a recommendation or a suggestion to involve you into actions to inform employees well.

11.    Support and advise. Be available, willing to cooperate and prepare to it.

12.    Be an expert. If you want to advise the bigger ones that you’re, you’ve to be a master in the field you’re responsible for. Take part in trainings, increase your competencies, not only those ones about communications.

13.    Ask for ideas. Advise, but also give the space for actions to others. Listen to the boards’ ideas about the internal communication and implement them. If it’s necessary, offer some modifications – at last you are the internal communication expert. But every time explain why you suggest changes and what you all will achieve due to them.

14.    Praise and thank. Don’t be afraid of telling that some communication actions – which the board were involved in – were done well and assessed positively by employees. Thank for spending time and their engagement.

15.    Believe in yourself and see humans in the board. The moment you see humans in the board and not the inaccessible members of the board who are focused on their strategic goals and tables with huge sums, it’ll be easier for you to start the cooperation. Remember that actions may be difficult at the beginning not only for you, but also for the board, which may not have big experience in communications with employees yet. It may be an interesting process of increasing the competencies by the both sides.


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