This past year, companies had to change how they operate and communicate with employees. Learn how you can overcome workforce communication challenges to keep teams together and your organization strong in a virtual world.

The changing face of the workplace

Most businesses now have a mixed work environment with virtual workers. That means employees may be in office buildings, manufacturing facilities, home-based spaces, airplanes, scientific labs, trains…or just about anywhere. Current statistics reveal:

  • 80% of corporate remote work policies have shifted to virtual and mixed forms of virtual team collaboration
  • 64% of organizations will remain virtual after the pandemic ends

Your biggest workforce communication challenge may simply be getting information out to employees who have changed their work environment. If virtual messaging is new territory for you, this blog will provide information and ideas that combine technology with more human elements so that your workforce communication is authentic and engaging.

Meet employees where they are

Send your messages using communication tools that employees actually use vs. channels that you’d like them to use. You may have to do some research to find out the best way employees want to receive messages, but it’s worth the effort. For example, texting or mailing may be smart ways to reach employees in your workforce who don’t have corporate emails.

Leverage social collaboration tools

In one study, productivity levels rose 25% among workers with collaboration tools. Consider sending workforce communication through a platform available in your company—such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Salesforce Chatter. These communication tools enable employees to talk and collaborate in real-time. Plus, your HR and benefits messages may be perceived as more authentic and transparent.

Embrace video

“Video” is a term that is now used in a couple of ways. Video shows that you watch provide one-way communication and are a great alternative to face-to-face communication. You can control the message and showcase human emotion.

Video conferencing is the new normal, thanks to social distancing restrictions. It provides a communication platform for interactive, two-way messaging that can be structured in a variety of ways and helps keep your workforce connected. Options such as Skype, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, GoToMeeting and the ever-popular Zoom make video conferencing easy to use and a smart choice for meeting business goals.

Be less predictable

If you want employees to take time out of their day to hear your important messages, you’d better be engaging. Not only are most people juggling to balance work and personal life, but they’re also being hit continually with media advertisements that are sharp, eye-catching and hard to ignore. For effective workforce communication, be sure to answer the big question: What’s in it for me? Then, be as creative as the advertisement wizards so employees take notice and understand your messages.

Measure your communication

No matter how you communicate to your workforce, it’s important to collect data and measure your efforts. Collecting metrics on a benefits website can tell the story of where employees are going, how long they stay and what they’re looking for. The information you learn will help you pivot as needed, correct problems and know if your messages are clear and resonating.