By: Kristin Rabas, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

In the world of communication and public relations, we spend hours upon hours building up a positive image of companies to the general public and customers. (That’s the ultimate goal, right?) While it make sense to continually promote your company and make its abilities known to the public, sometimes we forget to include our biggest fans (and sometimes our biggest critics), our employees.

Internal communication with a company’s employees is essential. In an economy where individuals are hesitant about spending, it’s their friends’ and neighbors’ opinions they trust. Your employees have the power to spread positive messages or negative images just as easily as the company can. With the holidays here, many of us will be spending time with our friends and family and ultimately, sharing our opinions about a variety of matters. My point is that your own employees are great spokespeople for your organizations and sometimes we forget that.

So how do you ensure your employees are speaking positively about your company?

  • Share information with them – good and bad. If your firm is struggling financially, be sure the employees understand that and know why. A lack of information will only fuel rumors.
  • If your company has cut back on nonessential spending, including, holiday gatherings or bonuses, let them know far in advance. Last minute surprises never go over well. Give some thought about non-monetary things you can do to show your appreciation. Or maybe let employees hold an afternoon, at-the-office pot luck gathering.
  • Ask for their input on how to improve process and procedures. But, if you’re going to ask, be ready to implement ideas that have merit. Nothing turns off employees faster than asking for their input and then ignoring all of it.
  • Do the little things that matter to employees. Whether it’s recognizing their birthdays or celebrating a business success, people like to know they’re appreciated.

The moral of the story is, no matter what situation your organization is in, it’s important to remember to communicate efficiently and effectively with your staff. What do you do, or what does your organization do, to ensure your employees are speaking positively about you? What low-cost ideas do you have to show employees appreciation?