4 tips to increase the business value of your HR communication
One of the greatest challenges faced by HR executives is keeping employees engaged. The top tactic for meeting that challenge is creating a culture where trust, open communication and fairness are emphasised and demonstrated by leaders, according to recent research by the Society for Human Resource Management (1).
Managing HR communication effectively to achieve this can however, be tricky. How often do you share? Which channels are most effective? Here are four tips to help you answer these questions and increase the business value of HR communications.
- Familiarity breeds contempt
Pay close attention to how often you’re communicating. As much as employees appreciate fabulous HR initiatives and benefits, they are at work to do a job — and great employees are focused on getting that job done well. If you are constantly bombarding workers with new information, they could become annoyed and tune out.
Instead see how you can make use of existing platforms. If for example, your corporate communications department sends out a newsletter, maybe you could include your messages in that communication.
Avoid using in-person meetings as a chief communications vehicle. They tend to become a drain on everyone’s time and the information can often be communicated just as well in other ways that better respect employees’ time (such as webinars or electronic communications).
- Variety is the spice of life
According to ADP’s Evolution of Work Study (2), 79% of respondents feel positively about technology that “will allow for deeper connections across distance/time” – but how do you know which technology works best? Review the response rates and engagement garnered from previous communication or consider adding a question on your next employee survey to find out how they’d like to receive information – is it a portal that enables self-serve, text, emails, videos or more traditional printed communications?
Melcrum (3), a communication technologies firm, offers a guide to communication channels and which formats work best for various types of messages. They suggest an organisation matches the “choice of communication channel to the intended outcome, for example, whether they wish to raise awareness or gain commitment.”
- A friend in need in a friend indeed
Even if you think you’ve covered all the communication bases, employees are likely to have questions. According to the ADP Research Institute, only about half of employees find getting answers to HR questions (2) “very” or “extremely” easy. So make it easy for them by offering a dedicated email address or Twitter handle that will be monitored and will serve to answer their questions in a timely manner.
- Don’t beat around the bush
Rather than sharing information haphazardly, figure out your main objectives before you even begin — and make sure those objectives are meaningful for employees.
For instance, if you’re introducing a new colleague, share how the new worker will contribute to the organisation’s success or collaborate with other workers and departments. If you’re communicating about a new flexible schedule option, explain how the flexible scheduling will allow more workers to get their jobs done and contribute to increased productivity for everyone. No information should be presented in a vacuum, so figure out how the new initiatives matter to your audience and make the connections clear for them.
Regular, ongoing communication with employees is the only way to keep them informed about the exciting work HR is doing for their benefit. As you create a better, more productive workplace for your employees, ensure you’re also promoting those achievements effectively to maximise awareness and a feeling of enterprise-wide connectivity.
For more information on HR communication, click here: Evolution of Work: The Changing Nature of the Global Workplace
Written by: Connect@ADP Team