Three Tips for Effective Employee Communication
We all get what seems like millions of megabytes of information inundating our inboxes every day. And, let’s face it, some of the messages we receive are important, but if we’re honest, the majority of them are… not.
When you communicate with your employees, it can be challenging to break through all of the static to ensure they’re receiving your messages and paying attention to what you need them to know. It’s like walking a tightrope, though. You want to ensure they stay informed about important information, but you don’t want to over-communicate to the point that they get overwhelmed and toss your messages in the old circular file.
So, what can you do to ensure your messages rise to the top of the heap and help your employees get the information they need to be successful and remain engaged? Here are three tips to help your communications be heard loud and clear.
- Know Your Audience.
This is, without question, the most critical aspect of a successful communications program. You absolutely must know who you’re speaking to. Many times you’ll have multiple audiences, so keep that in mind and tailor your message(s) to fit your readers.
Your internal or employee communications can easily make or break the perception your employees have of management and the company as a whole, so keep your tone in mind. If your messages come across as less than genuine, or they’re too long or complex, you’ll quickly lose credibility and readers.
And, whatever you do, never communicate in a vacuum. In other words, don’t assume that, just because you understand what you’re attempting to say, your employees will as well.
- Assess Your Communication Channels.
It’s critical to make sure all of your employees are receiving your message. For example: We’ve mainly focused on email here, but if a large segment of your workforce doesn’t use computers, an email message will be completely worthless, and a waste of your time.
Consider using in-person “town halls” for face-to-face communication of important information such as yearly financial results or major company changes. For shorter announcements such as benefits open enrollment, visually appealing table tents or posters in the break room are highly effective. Executive videos that can be shown to a group, or text messages to those employees who have opted in to receive them have also proven to be extremely successful mechanisms. And, don’t forget to use your company intranet if you have one. Front page news is always appreciated!
- Follow the Four Cs of Communication.
Sticking to these four messaging recommendations will result in communications that will be on point. Make sure your messages are:
- Clear – Be straightforward. Your employees need to understand your message right off the bat.
- Concise – Be brief. Your employees’ time is valuable, so keep it short.
- Candid – Be honest. Your employees must trust your message.
- Complete – Be thorough. Your employees will want to know the “what” and the “why; proactively answer these questions.
Whether you’re the only person in your company responsible for communicating to your employees, or you’re part of a larger team, following these three simple guidelines can be a major step in successfully engaging and informing the employees of your company.
Employee Assistance Network has been helping companies and government organizations across Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee for more than 30 years. We are a recognized leading provider of Employee Assistance Programs, managed behavioral healthcare services and work-related training and education programs.