Communications channels inside Building Operations

Formal face-to-face communications channels

Generally, the more complex or important the message, the more likely that face-to-face communication is warranted, especially if there’s employee high impact. This should almost always be supplemented by a printed or electronic version for clarity and consistency of message.




Town Hall

All-Staff “Big Picture” Meetings to help employees understand their department’s goals and how their work fits into the big picture. To communicate information with department-wide implications such as a reorganization, auditor’s statement, or accountability report. On an annual basis to communicate business plan information.

Superintendent/ frontline staff meetings

For regular and routine communications; may be necessary to convey an unexpected but important message that has a broad impact. Participants share information about their various areas and get to know colleagues in other shops. The superintendent gains insights, listens to concerns, and is able to answer any questions that arise. On an annual basis for routine communications. On an as-needed basis for important sudden and/or far-reaching news. As a vehicle for informal chat.

Crew talks

Regular meetings at the shop/unit level to share and discuss work issues both at the shop level and interpreting larger department initiatives and how they affect individual staff an shop/unit tasks. In most situations, the team may need only to get together on a weekly or biweekly basis.
In very fluid situations, daily meetings lasting 5–10 minutes may be required.

Management forum

Half- or full-day gatherings of all managers in the department to discuss management issues. It provides the opportunity to refocus as a management team on departmental goals and strategies. Once or twice yearly; perhaps as much as quarterly when a high level of change is occurring.

Senior leadership meetings (BOLT)

For information sharing and decision making across the department. On a weekly basis for routine communications. On an as-needed basis for important sudden and/or far-reaching news.

Informal face-to-face communications channels

Communication tactics are typically scheduled, informal visits to work areas can be effective whether they’re scheduled or not.





For leaders to stay in touch with front-line people and operations. On a regular basis—every few weeks or even more frequently as needed.

Paper & display communications channels

Measurement shows that one of the most-effective channel at UBC is a poster. The right message in the right place will have significant impact, and usually for no more than the cost of photocopying or printing.




Mission, vision & values display

To serve as a reminder of the department’s reason for being, provide focus, and remind us where we’re headed and by what values this will be accomplished. These should be prominently and conspicuously displayed. Should be a permanent fixture in common areas across the department.

Shop-level bulletin board

Primarily, as a source for routine news and upcoming events and a secondary source for more important information initially conveyed face-to-face or by other means. Should be used on an ongoing basis.

Handwritten or typed letter or note

To convey a personal message of appreciation to an individual employee or to a work group.This could be a key part of an employee recognition program. When the situation warrants—and it’s often warranted.

Electronic communications channels

Electronic channels have become the backstop for communications. Although somewhat effective as a primary means of sharing information, they especially effective to back up messaged delivered in face-to-face channels and as channels for stores/archived information.





Primarily used to share routine messages and updates. It can also be used as a secondary method for follow-up or reinforcement of an important message delivered earlier face-to-face. Take care not to abuse or overuse e-Mail, and avoid using it for sensitive or complex matters. When in doubt, pick up the phone or go visit. Whenever needed for routine messages and updates. Avoid using it for initial communication of a sensitive or complex matter.

Building Operations digital sign network

Primarily to convey routine messages and updates. It can also be used to deliver emergency communications.At Building operations this is linked to our weekly email newsletter. Whenever needed for routine messages and updates. Avoid using it for initial communication of a sensitive or complex matter.

e-Mail newsletters
(Building Operations Weekly)

Captures mostly operational news about what’s happening that directly affects people’s jobs. Every Tuesday

Staff section of website

To provide information that is routine or operationally important. Always live, updated as needed.

For a listing of channels that we can use to share information from Building Operations to our surrounding campus community, visit the Channels at UBC & Beyond on the UBC Finance and Operations Portfolio website.