When it comes to communicating, are you giving your employees some love?
After all, they’ve been through a lot: whip-sawed Covid protocols, remote (and isolating) work, business disruptions, even furloughs – in short, a whole lot of stress.
It’s been well documented that workers are quitting for reasons as personal as each employee. Employers, faced with job openings, must do all they can to retain and attract top talent. That doesn’t always mean competitive pay and benefits. Often it comes down to a human reality: employees want to be appreciated and acknowledged.
That’s where communications come into play. Successful companies have formal internal communications programs in place to keep employees informed and engaged. A way to hear from their leaders on a regular basis and learn about their company and industry.
It’s not as simple as a few emails a month. A fulsome employee communications program has many elements, all tied to a company’s business goals. From digital engagement to old-fashioned face-to-face meetings, a successful program is a two-way process — a communications loop — that aims to increase engagement, understanding and, ultimately, trust to increase productivity and employee satisfaction.
Tips to Build Your Program
Employees are your most important audience. They are your brand ambassadors and your most important assets. Here are some ways to increase employee engagement and trust:
- Communicate with tools that meet your employees where they are. Whether your company has staff in one office or multiple locations or your employees work in a warehouse or are fully remote, be sure you’re online, on mobile or in person so they hear from you first.
- Be authentic and transparent. Employees trust companies and organizations that are frank with them, that tell it like it is. No need to sugar-coat bad news or exaggerate good news. Be honest and transparent.
- Use simple language. Communicating to employees is a lot like trying to reach the general population. Use language that can easily be understood, devoid of jargon or long-winded prose. Keep it simple to increase engagement. Use video where possible because, let’s face it, people would rather watch something than read.
- Be frequent. Employees like to hear from their managers first, so frequent one-on-one communication is vital. When it comes to company communications be sure your program involves daily or weekly messages.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. Today’s employee communications programs use social media tools, apps and programs to stay in touch with employees. Depending on your industry and workforce, be sure to try the latest technology, especially if you have a younger workforce that uses TikTok, WhatsApp and Instagram to stay in touch.
- Make it fun. Today’s employee communications are certainly not the top-down-get-out-the-memo variety of yore. Successful internal communications are about building relationships, encouraging two-way conversations and facilitating collaboration. That means finding ways to make communications fun (though not flip) and sticky. Just like the latest YouTube video.
Contact us If you need help designing and implementing an employee communications program that makes a difference.
Thomas Becher, APR, serves as ECU’s Director of Marketing & PR Services.