Corporate Eye

Communicating From the Top

I invited Mariana Ashley to write a guest post for us this week on internal communication. Mariana is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges.

Over to you, Mariana…

Quality Internal Communication Leads to More Satisfied Workers

Corporations of all sizes are in the habit these days of asking their employees to complete job satisfaction surveys. The purpose of these surveys is to shine a light on the company’s workplace strengths and weaknesses so the company can develop strategies to help retain talent and lower turnover rates by improving both the work environment and the work experience in any way they can.

In these surveys, a key area where many corporations fall short is in internal communications from the top down. In other words, employees want to know what decisions are being made by top executives and the management team and why. All too often these employees don’t get the answers or transparency they’re looking for.

Corporate communications specialists are often responsible for writing the content for internal communications, and bear the burden of sharing the decisions made by executives with everyone in the company. Everything they write must be vetted by their higher-ups so that only the most pertinent information gets through. That being said, what if more were communicated internally about what’s happening in a company?

Communicating well when top-level decisions affect all employees

One way this is done is by always thoroughly communicating decisions made at the top that affect all employees. For instance, if the management team determines that all employees will only receive a 1 percent raise at their annual review, when they are accustomed to receiving a higher percentage raise, this needs to be explained adequately in internal corporate communications. If the reasons behind the decision aren’t clearly articulated, then the employees may assume that the decision was made merely to boost the company’s bottom line, leading to job dissatisfaction because they don’t believe those in charge have their best interests at heart. Employees may wish to know that the decision to cut back on annual raises was made in an attempt to avoid employee layoffs or cuts in benefits at all costs. These are the finer details that are often left out when a stagnant internal memo is sent out announcing an update on diminished future raises.

Communicating when employees move up in the company

This sort of internal communication may seem mundane, but announcing the promotion of employees is important to worker satisfaction because it helps them clearly see that there is a path upward in the company for high-producing employees who demonstrate leadership skills. This sort of update can be provided monthly or quarterly and included in internal company newsletters. When employees are promoted, the announcement shouldn’t just be a couple of sentences. It should detail why those employees were promoted, point to their history with the company and express gratitude for the talent the promoted employees have brought to the company. This contributes to having a work environment where employees’ achievements are celebrated and boosts job satisfaction.

Communicating when an outsider is brought in to fill a coveted position

If a company hires someone outside the company for a leadership position that employees believe should have been filled internally, it can lead to job dissatisfaction. Therefore, any time this happens, it’s important to not only announce the new arrival through internal communications, but to explain in detail why the outsider stood out from the crowd and was chosen for a position that so many in the company had applied for and were denied.

These are only a few areas where quality internal communication can contribute to a more positive work environment, improved transparency and more job satisfaction. What do you think should be communicated more clearly from the top down in internal corporate communications?

Thanks, Mariana!

Mariana loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to And we’d like to know your views too – do let us know what you think in the comments below.

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