From Fish to Fireside: Making Time for Employee Communications

You’d think that internal communications would be easier with company layoffs since there are fewer people to communicate with. But with the remaining employees expected to do more with less (including time), how do you maintain internal communications?

Here are several small group communications approaches & motifs that companies use:

  • “Sardine seminars” – employees share specialized skills or knowledge with each other in a condensed time frame. Think brown-bag lunches or designate a prescribed time (ranging from 20 minutes to an hour) to conduct such a session that will help bridge organizational silos.
  • Fireside chats – an informal gathering where managers can listen to employee concerns and issues. (Set up a computer screen with a burning yule log for atmosphere … and don’t forget the coffee, tea & sweets!)
  • Studio Executive Coffee Series” – The Walt Disney Studios hosts these in which small groups of employees get to meet with senior executives to learn about what they’re working on. (You can read more about Disney’s internal communications on Melcrum’s The Source for Communicators.)

I’d love to hear about other ways companies “package” internal communications among employees as well as between management and employees. (Speed meetings, anyone?) Your ideas are welcome!

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