Employee Communication

How you communicate with employees can make or break your success.

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We all know how important it is to say the right thing at the right time when it comes to personal communication — and the same goes for communication with employees. Taking time to create a strong employee communication strategy that brings together perfect timing with unique design and quality content can help you achieve business and communication objectives.

What is employee communication?

Employee communication is how companies and organizations communicate information to their employees to inform, engage, and inspire.

The range of topics is comprehensive, and can include general human resources, total rewards, benefits, company culture, leave of absence, wellbeing and mental health, financial wellness, ERISA compliance, policies and procedures, change management, and more. If the topic relates to an employee’s work life, employee communication covers it.

Employee communication also consists of the communication vehicles that deliver the information. This includes intranets and portals, benefits websites, apps, videos and podcasts, emails, home mailings, workplace signage (posters, digital signs), and much more.

The best employee communication informs employees of what they need to know at the right time with the right communication vehicle and helps keep employees engaged and inspired.

Why is employee communication important?

There are many reasons why employee communication is vital to a successful company. Effective and strategic employee communication can influence your employee experience and even impact your company’s bottom line.

Successful employee communication:

  • Helps employees understand your company’s vision, mission, and goals
  • Gives employees the information they need to do their jobs well
  • Increases employee engagement and satisfaction and boosts productivity
  • Allows for a two-way dialogue, so employees feel heard
  • Boosts productivity, builds trust, and promotes an honest and open culture

On the other hand, when handled improperly, employee communication or a lack of employee communication can:

  • Increase confusion and frustration
  • Lead to missed deadlines
  • Allow for inefficiencies and false information
  • Increase employee turnover

How to improve your employee communication

Employee communication doesn’t need to be boring! Creating a winning strategy, and sticking to it, helps ensure the success of your communication. Here are some tips on how to improve your employee communication.

  • Take a step back. Consider starting with an internal audit to review your current communication landscape — find areas for improvement, learn what you’re doing well, and set yourself up for future success.
  • Create your plan. When creating your new strategy, consider what you want employees to know, feel, and do throughout the year. Also consider if there are certain key messages tied to a specific time frame (such as Annual Benefits Enrollment), what communication channels you have available, and how you will measure success. Consider what messaging may need to be targeted versus shared broadly.
  • Create your materials. Write and design your communication materials with best practices in mind. (Need some guidance? PartnerComm can help!) Be sure your messaging is informative, any directives and key messages are clear, and your content and designs are in sync.
  • Deliver your messages. When choosing a communication delivery method, consider your options. Be sure the communication vehicle you choose is the best for your message and audience. For example, if you’re communicating with a segment of employees without computer access, consider if an at-home mailing is your best way to reach them. Try to think out of the box so your communication packs a punch.
  • Encourage feedback. It’s OK to check in with employees throughout the year. For example, if email open rates aren’t hitting the mark, send a survey asking employees how they would like to be reached. This will help you achieve your communication goals and employees will feel they have a voice and investment in the company.

And one last recommendation — don’t be afraid to try something new! Remember that not all employees learn the same way — while a video may be helpful for some, others may prefer to read the details in a printed piece. For important messages, we recommend that you consider multiple touchpoints to help ensure all employees receive your message.

An employee communication example

PartnerComm created a custom employee communication for one client who wanted to emphasize to employees the importance of choosing the right medical plan during Annual Benefits Enrollment. One of the client’s goals was to encourage medical plan migration — so, our strategy was to provide powerful educational materials to help employees learn how the client’s most cost-efficient plans could save them money if they switched.

The successful campaign leveraged thoughtful employee communication including targeted emails and home mailers, informational webinar sessions and two custom online medical plan tools, one for side-by-side plan comparisons and the other for medical plan recommendations. The campaign was a success, with 16% of employees migrating out of the client’s least cost efficient plan.

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