In thinking about our favorite October holiday, we found a few similarities with internal communications programs. Without further ado, here are the top 5 similarities.
1) Get to know your “neighbors” better
How often are you able to leave your house and ring the doorbells of all your neighbors? If you’re running for political office, I suppose you do this quite often. But for most of us, Halloween is a great “excuse” to take the kids, head into the neighborhood and see the faces of the families behind doors number 1, 5 and 7.
You internal communications programs need not focus solely on information dissemination. Allow your teams to connect and collaborate, via digital “trick or treats” among colleagues. In other words, encourage your teams to “walk the neighborhood” so they can better know … their “neighbors.”
2) Provide treats, not tricks
Just as kids judge their new “inventory” as tricks or treats, your employees will make quick judgments on your internal communications. Make sure you deliver more treats than tricks.
3) Deploy in many flavors
Ah yes, the pumpkin. Kids love to carve them, while adults love to make pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread and other delightful treats. Handle your internal communications in a variety of ways. Different people like to consume content in different ways. So do a live video broadcast, but also make it available later for on-demand viewing. Then, make just the audio available as an MP3 download and post the transcript as a web page or PDF.
4) Wear your favorite costume
For children (and some adults!), Halloween is that one day of the year where we’re able to dress up and get, well, a little crazy. Just as costumes (worn to work) allow employees to exhibit sides of their personality, create internal communications programs that enable employees to learn much more about each other. Whether it’s the former Marine who once scaled a skyscraper or the former waitress who once took the President’s breakfast order, allocate time to allow your teams to tell personal stories to one another.
5) Turn pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns
Your children put their “personal best” into their pumpkin carving. So we place a candle inside the pumpkin and give it that “glow” for trick-or-treaters to admire. Your employees carve fine and exquisite pumpkins each and every day. Be sure your internal communications programs “light up a jack-o-lantern,” to reinforce the notion that your organization’s successes come from the team-based efforts of individuals. Create a jack-o-lantern each month – or, even each day!
Post contributed by Dennis Shiao