A simple way to improve your internal communication

A simple technique is the HPM. HPM stands for Highlights, People and Me.

It’s a weekly email that is sent to your manager and/or team or cross-functional teams covering those three parts – Highlights, People and Me

It does what it says on the tin, you write a couple of short bullet points and it should take less than 10 minutes to write. If it takes any longer then you have written way too much.

Examples of what you might cover:

  • Highlights – what impact did you drive this week? which milestones did you achieve? any blockers?
  • People – what’s happening on the people’s side? did your team have any visitors? did you meet with someone and want to share that with the team/manager? do you have some PTO coming up soon and do you want to remind your team?
  • Me – anything you want to share? a personal update? something going on in your life which you want to bring to the attention of the team? any personal blockers? any support you need?

Many teams handle the HPM in many different ways. The best way I have seen is where they get rolled up (summarised) via the different levels. For example…

  • each IC would send one HPM on a Friday morning every week to their manager
  • every 2 weeks the manager would take the H’s and the P’s from their full team, extract the key points and create a team HPM, the difference here is that the manager would remove the M part from the ICs (treated as confidential) and put their own M part in.
  • this would role up another level, and be repeated at every next level

By the end of the process, you have a weekly communication with your line manager and a full team and org HPM every two weeks.

Effort vs Impact

Effort – It should take less than 10 minutes per week to do for an IC. It might take a manager 30 mins every 2 weeks to combine the team’s HPM.

Impact – the individual and the business gets so much out of it

  • Individual – a channel to showcase your progress, and highlight issues/blockers and it’s also another channel to communicate with your manager, which can feed into that weekly 1:1.
  • Team – everyone has a clear sight of projects and progress. Think of it as a bi-weekly team newsletter but in a simplified format.

In short, it improves communication between managers and direct reports, across the team and across the wider organisation.