About this Guide
Communication is critical within any business setting, but most importantly within our manufacturing facilities-where the right communication can really impact change and translate into business success.
What's the best way to communicate? How much should you communicate? How do you make sure your messages are heard? This guide willtake you step-by-step through the communication process. It contains simple, practical, easy-to-follow information you can put to use immediately. This manual also discusses strategic planning-why it's done, how it's done, and why it's important. But it's not all strategy. You will also find information about developing and implementing your communications plan, assigning responsibilities andmapping out your tactics.
Why strategic communication planning?
If you are to succeed and prosper in the industry, then you must contribute significantly and measurably to strategic management. You must think, act, and manage communication programs strategically, recording measurable results that contribute to the accomplishment of the organization's mission. Remember, the only reasonorganizational communication programs exist is to achieve measurable results that help the organization realize its mission.
What is a communication plan?
A communication plan should be closely linked with the mission, goals, objectives, strategies and tactics of the organization in a measurable way. A communication plan is a written statement of what communication actions you will engage in to supportthe accomplishment of specific organizational goals, the time frame for carrying out the plan, the budget and measurable results.
Our model for a communication plan contains the following elements:
2. Situation analysis
3. Key Messages
4. Target Audience
7. Evaluation and assessment
How Long a Time Period Should the Plan Cover?The period your plan should cover depends on several variables, such as the issues your plant is dealing with. It is suggested that your plan be updated on an annual basis.
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How to Begin
Form a plant communications committee. This team will be responsible for creating the plant-specific strategic communication plan and then executing the tactics. Your plant team should consist ofthe following:
1 plant leader (typically on the plant manager's NLT)
1 salaried employee
2 primary employees (senior employee and newer employee)
1 union leadership member, if plant is unionized
1 communications employee (person currently responsible for plant communications)
Your team should be representative of the plant workforce. It's important to involve all levels of the organizationin the planning process. Employees must feel a part of the process in order to take ownership in the plan and execute it enthusiastically.
Team members should be chosen based on the following:
• Willingness to participate.
• Show an interest in improving plant-wide communication.
• Willingness to take responsibility for executing parts of the plan.
• Have a good understanding of plantdynamics. Pick employees who tend to know the latest hot issues in the plant and who have insight on how their peers prefer to receive information.
• Enjoy working as part of a team.
Purpose of the team:
• Improve communications throughout the plant.
• Serve as an advisory counsel for the plant manager, union leaders or others who wish to share information within the plant.
• Develop newvehicles for communicating.
• Improve existing plant communication vehicles.
• Be a liaison between organizational levels to relay information both upwards and downwards.
• Improve two-way communication between management and primary workers.
• Serve as a resource for all plant personnel to use when needing to share information.
Choose a communications committee team leader. It will...