Good communication shows your employees that value them and that you care. Poor communication can leave them feeling confused, unimportant and out of the loop, all of which can lead to low employee engagement and morale.
With tons of communication channels available, there are plenty of ways for you to provide accurate, timely news and information. Why not take advantage of this easy way to keep your employees happy and in the know?
Communication can include anything from groundbreaking company information to day-to-day interactions. But depending on your communication frequency and mode of delivery, there can be too much of a good thing.
Email boxes are overflowing, task lists are long, and busy employees may not have time to add another meeting to their day. It’s good to keep these things in mind when choosing what and how to communicate with your employees.
Questions to consider:
· How important or time-sensitive is your message?
· Who does it affect most?
· Would this subject matter be best handled in person? In writing?
· Who should this news be coming from? Is it sensitive or potentially upsetting?
· What’s the best way to make sure everyone who needs the message gets it?
Communication tip: Just because a particular message is urgent doesn’t mean it should be rushed. The only thing worse that no communication is careless communication. The backlash can be swift and painful. The more thought you put into your messaging, the better your results will be.
Sharing significant news
This includes major company changes such as mergers and acquisitions, management changes, new product announcements, bankruptcy, organizational crises, and company reorganization. But not all significant news is bad! It could be that your organization just won an award, received a grant, or is expanding and hiring.
Communication tip: Whether your update is going to be challenging or exciting to deliver, it is essential that you inform employees quickly, honestly, and transparently. Nothing hurts employee morale more than hearing news that affects you and your company from someone other than your employer.
Communicating core values
It’s important to keep your organizational goals and vision in the spotlight. If your employees don’t know what the company values or goals are, how can they possibly get excited about them?
Let employees know where you are, where you want to be, and how far you’ve come. Provide details about upcoming goals and initiatives, performance metrics, and the future direction of the company. Employees want to know what leadership values, how the organization is performing, and where they are headed as a team.
This kind of information is best communicated in person, and is a great use for annual or quarterly all-staff meetings. If you can’t get everyone together at once, consider sending key leadership figures to various locations or departments to cover this important content.
Communication tip: Your organizational vision should be communicated regularly and woven deep into the fabric of your company.
Providing employee feedback
All employees should have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with an immediate supervisor periodically to discuss expectations, current projects and concerns or questions on either end.
Companies looking to improve retention will also consider regular check-ins that aren’t performance related.
Communication tip: Offering professional mentorship, talking about potential career paths and development opportunities, and conducting stay interviews can help keep employees feeling valued, engaged and committed.
Employee benefits education
Your benefits package can be a great asset to your team. It can also be a missed opportunity. The difference often lies in how it’s communicated.
When it comes to health benefits, what your employees don’t know can hurt them. And you.
Confusion is your enemy here. Make sure your employees know exactly what’s being offered and how to use it. You might also want to let them know what the total package value is and how much you’re contributing. Of course, you’ll want to cover this during enrollment meetings, but don’t let it end there.
Communication tip: Communicate benefits information year round to keep this information top of mind and to make sure employees are familiar with their plans and know how to use them when needed.
Recognizing and rewarding
Employees want their hard work to be recognized, so make sure your management team finds ways to praise your team members when they come through.
Communication tip: Whether it’s via personal e-mail, an in-person high five, a company-wide announcement, or a tangible incentive or reward, you must acknowledge your employees. Letting employee achievements go unnoticed is a great way to lose talent.
Don’t hold back
Do you want to be the kind of organization that chooses to wield power over its employees? Or would you rather empower your team to do great things? If you want to be a successful business and a coveted place to work, there is a right answer.
When it comes to lack of communication, it really doesn’t matter if you’re withholding information on purpose, on accident, or because you’re just too busy. Failing to effectively communicate will cause confusion, break down trust, and foster discontentment.
Master the art of employee communication and you will build a team (and an organization!) worth talking about.
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