Senior-level leaders need to periodically meet or share information with their middle-level managers. Sometimes having face-to-face meetings in addition to news alerts or emails can be very helpful to communicate new initiatives or answer questions. Once middle-level managers know what is going on, they should have similar type meetings with their direct reports to keep them in the loop.
Follow up with leaders to ensure they are sharing accurate information. Use trustworthy leaders to verify what others say. Sometimes a manager might share information with peers or staff, yet it is biased by their own perspective and spin on things that may not be accurate. Verifying the message is important.
Put a system in place to ensure that employees learn what is going on. This could include changes in strategic directions, policies, procedures, among other things. Communicate clearly, concisely and often. While it may seem like you are over communicating, ask your employees what they think. Usually, they will tell you it is not enough.
Share good news along with bad news. Nothing says you have to always share only bad news with employees. They can be inspired hearing positive news about awards, accomplishments, new business deals, etc. They also want to understand financials and how the firm is doing. They can do a better job of helping the firm succeed if they know the challenges the firm is facing.
Use a variety of formats to keep people informed — newsletters, communication boards, blogs, social media, employee town halls or forums, among other methods. Be sure to review these techniques with employees to make sure you are using methods they are actually following or participating in. The higher the level the leader, the more that employees will value face-to-face meetings by him/her. They want to see his or her facial reactions and other nonverbal when delivering messages or asking for input.