Do You Have Good Internal Communication?
Every day, you communicate with a wide variety of stakeholder groups. And your staff should be one of them! Communicating with the public is important, but so is communicating with the people in your schools. If you haven’t touched base with your staff in a while, this is your sign to do so.
Keep teachers and staff in the loop
When an incident occurs, a school leader’s first thought is, “How will we tell the public about this?” There are so many different people to communicate with, most of whom exist beyond school walls—community members, business owners, non-parents, alumni and government officials, to name a few. In the pursuit of connecting with the public, one stakeholder group often becomes an afterthought: school staff.
It’s just as important (if not more so) to maintain regular, ongoing communication with internal stakeholders as it is with external ones. Teachers, administrators and support staff should be some of the first people to receive updates and learn about topics that are critical to your district’s success.
Staff members are your spokespeople
Teachers and staff need to stay informed because they’re the spokespeople of your schools. They play as big a role in telling the district’s story as you do. The main difference is there’s one of you and many of them. Before something reaches the public, staff members need to be educated about it. If they’re going to tell your district’s story, they should have the right information.
Reevaluate your communication efforts
To maintain proper communication, school leaders should conduct communication audits with teachers and staff on a regular basis. Surveys are a crucial part of the auditing process, as they provide valuable insight on how often you communicate, how often you should communicate, and who’s receiving the most (and least) communication.
After completing the audit, you can begin formulating a plan to improve internal communication. This often involves sending out more timely, frequent messages to staff members. You’ll also have to consider which messages are the most important for your staff to hear. By taking an honest look at your communication efforts, you can make great strides toward improving them.
As a school leader, you’re tasked with keeping stakeholders in the loop—not just parents, civic groups and community members, but teachers, administrators and support staff as well. Your team needs good communication, and they need it often. To strengthen your school community, you have to start at the core!