Effective HR communication helps keep employees happy and productive and supports your strategic objectives. Here are communication best practices to help you deliver engaging, meaningful messages that get noticed.

Employee communication is a big job

As an HR communicator, you deliver messages on corporate values, culture, employee benefits, pay, onboarding, and more. The cost of poor HR communication can be high — a SHRM survey of 400 companies with 100,000 employees each cited an average loss of $62.4 million per year due to inadequate employee communication. And human resources messages have important stuff employees need to know, but it’s hard to get them to listen. So, where’s their attention going?

Communicating effectively past paid ads

The paid advertising industry has made HR communication to employees more challenging by always competing for our attention. Paid ads and social media ads infiltrate almost every aspect of our lives, and magically pop up everywhere we look on the web and throughout our social media feeds. Information overload makes achieving communication goals more challenging for HR communicators. Having an effective employee communication strategy can help ensure that employee engagement levels remain high with the current digital landscape.

If you can’t beat display ads then join them

Effective communication on dry topics like changes in 401(k) plan target-date funds don’t mean your messages have to fall flat. HR communication to employees needs to be correct, but also slick and fresh like online advertising for consumer products and services. Your messages need to be eye-catching and make employees think and take action, as needed. Remember, employees don’t want to become experts — they’re busy and want clear messages that are easy to understand.

So act like the big digital marketing wizards. Spice up campaigns and key messages to grab your target audience's attention so they stand out and get noticed.

Tips for HR communication to employees

Cut through the clutter and spruce up the employee experience with these tips:

  • Have an internal communications plan. Create a project communication plan or a strategy with goals and measurable objectives that leadership is on board with. Being organized will make your job easier. It will showcase your project management skills and how you handle unplanned or urgent messages that may pop up.
  • Be creative and less predictable. HR communication to employees needs to be accurate but doesn’t have to be boring. Give your campaigns and important messages an interesting look and feel, like an engaging tagline, to grab employees’ attention. To capture the different ways people like to receive messages, use a variety of channels: video, emails, print, web, in-person events. Be sure to use communication channels that are unique to your company, such as social collaboration tools.
  • Don’t try to school employees. Less is more when it comes to complicated information that HR communicators need to deliver. These days, there are plenty of places to put the fine details for employees who want to know more. Communicate for the average employee who appreciates a clean, easy read.
  • Think globally. Make sure your messaging is relevant to different cultures and groups. Your photography and art should make all employees feel included, important and valued. A great way to get “boots on the ground” messages to all workforce levels is to use local employee ambassadors in your company, especially if you have remote employees.
  • Gather feedback. To know what works and what doesn’t, gather feedback and metrics on your HR communication to employees. Learn the different ways you can measure your communication efforts to be most effective.