Using managers as communication channels makes sense, especially in workplaces where employees aren’t sitting in front of computers. For companies with employees in manufacturing, retail and other non-desk environments, it’s sometimes one of the only ways to reach that audience.
In most cases, employees are fine with the cascading system. In Tribe’s national research on employee preferences in internal communications, 77 percent said they like receiving information from their managers face-to-face.
CASCADING HAS ITS DRAWBACKS
But that doesn’t mean the cascading system is flawless. Employees recognize that their managers are interpreting the message through their own lens. Like that old game of telephone, the message is likely to be garbled somewhere in between corporate and the frontline employees.
There’s also the issue of some managers doing a better job than others at actually delivering the message. In order to boost the success of cascading information, you might want to provide managers with communication toolkits to help them get the job done.
HOW COMMUNICATION TOOLKITS CAN HELP
- Consistency of message: Providing managers with even the simplest of communication toolkits can help them stay on message. That might be a short Powerpoint presentation or just a one-pager of talking points and another for FAQ. If it’s a big launch or a major re-org, you might want to add a few tools to that toolkit, from videos to training guidelines, but sometimes it just takes a few basics.
- Likelihood of delivery: By making it easier for managers by providing communication toolkits, you increase the likelihood that they’ll actually get around to delivering the message.
- Managers want help: In Tribe’s research, managers said they appreciated communication tools from corporate. Some commented that they had no training in communication, so they really needed some support from corporate with cascading.
(For thoughts on things you can do to support cascading information, you might enjoy BEYOND CASCADING: 4 STRATEGIES FOR NON-DESK COMMUNICATIONS.)
Employees don’t like being left out of the loop: Anything you can do to keep employees informed helps morale and builds trust in management. Interested in making it easier for managers to communicate? Tribe can help.