Employee morale in the federal government has reached its lowest point in years. Low morale can paralyze an organization and impede its ability to meet its mission. To overcome this substantial challenge, federal leaders should strive to better engage their staff. Internal communication is a fundamental component for engagement within an organization because it helps employees understand how their work supports the larger mission and gives them a voice in the direction of the organization. In pursuit of enhancing internal communications and empowering staff, leaders often look to a variety of venues including brownbag lunches, all-hands meetings, and office-wide communiqués. While these are not inherently bad tactics, in many organizations they tend to be check-the-box activities rather than forums for true engagement and learning. In other words, the existence of these venues does not an internal communications strategy make. To break the cycle, leaders should focus on intention over tactics.
Before scheduling meetings or sending out a memo, pause to consider: ‘What am I really after?’ Is it that you have a bunch of meetings and memos, or that you find a way to share knowledge and expertise, provide opportunities for learning, and create a sense of community within your organization? It’s crucial to emphasize the intention over the tactic. The intention is the true goal, while a set of well-developed tactics help you get there.
Here are some tips for focusing on intention rather than tactics: