During today’s webinar on nonprofit internal communications, we asked participants about the state of their “internal communications charter” or the basic rules for how internal comms works in their organizations.
An internal communications charter can include:
- When to use one communications channel over another (e.g. what’s a chat versus an email)
- Office etiquette around each communications channel (e.g. When is “reply all” discouraged or OK)
- Rules for scheduling and running meetings (e.g. what should be on agendas and how decisions are conveyed to others afterward)
- Expectations for how quickly certain messages will be read and replied to (including after hours)
- Consistent use of the same software others use versus using another platform you may personally prefer
- Acknowledgment of and accommodations for special circumstances (e.g. employees who work remotely with their own personal electronics, employees who are rarely in front of a computer, etc.)
On today’s webinar, only 9% of participants had something written down. However, 60% said one of their next steps would be to start conversations about developing a written internal communications charter.
About 2/3rds said the internal communications was managed by sub-cultures where each team does their own thing. The next most popular answer was “Hot Mess of Individual Behaviors.” (We let people pick more than one answer on this poll).
If you are struggling with internal communications, you aren’t alone!