Managers: The Internal Communicator’s Secret Weapon

November 12, 2018

If you oversee the work of others—or support those who do—then part of your job is to communicate regularly with employees. According to our latest communications preferences survey, faculty and staff report a higher level of trust in information received from their manager or department leader than from any other source.

Here’s the good news: As a way to share information, managers are super effective—probably because most people have one. That means if you want to make sure faculty and staff hear your message, get it to a leader or supervisor. Here are a few ways you can make it easy for them to share info:

  • Get in their faces (in a good way)
    We all see a lot of email, and while it’s an efficient channel, people are way more likely to remember information they hear in person. Remind leaders to have regular meetings, both for teams and individually, and provide key messages to share in these meetings.
  • Be informal
    Leaders can also share information in informal ways, such as when they’re chatting in the lunch room or greeting faculty or staff as they cross campus. Informal discussions open up the possibility of feedback, which empowers employees and informs leadership. Informal messaging works best for gathering information.
  • Please forward
    If you know email or newsletters work best in your college or unit, consider writing key messages in a format that’s easy to copy. And don’t forget to ask them to share the messages; like the rest of us, leaders get busy and a call to action can be helpful.

As communicators, we’re in a great position to help leaders help us. Let them know how easy it can be to ensure faculty and staff feel well informed.


Interested in learning how University Relations is working to boost internal communications across the U? Email Christie Wells.