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How HR helps leaders improve communication

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Promoting employee engagement through effective human resources communication

A recent study found that 53% of workers in the United States don’t feel that they are engaged in the workplace. Employee engagement isn’t just about workplace productivity or project completion. Instead, employee engagement is about how involved the employee feels in the larger company mission and how informed they are about the overall functions and updates of the company. Effective engagement of your workforce requires good communication, a strong company culture, internal communication strategies, and a human resources (HR) department that uses communication tools to have a consistent beat on the employee experience.

When your company consistently communicates with employees, your company stands to benefit. Productivity will rise, company policies will be followed (since they are made clear and defined), and revenues will increase over time. This article outlines why company communication is so important and how your HR team and leaders can play a pivotal role in implementing an organization-wide communication plan. HR departments have the ability to catalyze how communication takes place at your business, especially in supporting employee satisfaction and retention.

Why is communication important for my organization?

Effective communication is important at an organization because it keeps employees informed of any business updates, the expectations and standards employees are held to, and the overall direction of the organization. From an HR perspective, communication revolves around onboarding, new hire documentation, employee performance, and the day to day employee experience. Miscommunications from HR can lead to confusion, misrepresentation of company policies, or a misunderstanding of business objectives. Moreover, miscommunication can lead employees to experience burnout, especially when they are getting mixed messages from different team members or from different departments.

Of all the reasons why communication skills are so important to businesses, the most critical is that it helps keep employees connected. Employees will be able to trust their teams and managers, understand how to implement their own creative approaches to the company’s strategic plan and project initiatives, and remain motivated in their job position and overall performance. Essentially, effective communication is what keeps your business model running smoothly.

How can human resources management communicate with team members effectively?

HR professionals and management can implement policies and systems that promote two-way communication channels for team members. This way, employees have a clear way to provide feedback, ask questions, and gain information about the business. Whether face-to-face or via digital streams, effective HR teams are able to coordinate communications with team members, ensuring that employees have the ability to engage with the HR team (and the company at-large) on a regular basis. Below are five ways that your team can leverage effective communication for enhanced employee engagement at your business:

  • Engage. Ideally, your business will want to engage team members in a variety of ways so that employees can choose the medium that works best for them. Engagement can take place through “town hall” style meetings or virtual lunches. Alternatively, HR teams can design and send out surveys to elicit employee feedback and capture any concerns they may have. To engage and promote work-life balance within communication processes, you may consider a quarterly lunch or gathering for ongoing discussions with different teams. These are just some ideas for ways to engage employees in the context of discussing and processing the current happenings of your workplace.
  • Empower. Employees that feel empowered in the workplace will not only have a more positive work experience, but will likely be more open in providing feedback to the company. Empowerment through HR streams can include training, professional development, and work schedule flexibility. As employees take on more autonomy and flexibility in the workplace, HR teams can check-in and explore how employees are experiencing their day to day responsibilities. Another example of a two-way communication stream is for HR departments to work directly with employees, developing career plans and identifying milestones or targets that the employee wants to work toward that can benefit the overall vision of the company as well.
  • Collaborate. Effective communication takes place when both parties are able to share their perspective and find the best way forward together. For example, many companies had to decide how to handle work productivity in light of the pandemic. Many companies now offer flexible or hybrid work options that meet employee preferences. These preferences can be identified through consistent communication and exploration of workflows that will benefit the entire company.
  • Acknowledgement. One important way to communicate with employees is to provide positive feedback on their work performance, contributions, and overall addition to the team. When employees are acknowledged for their work, they will feel more incentivized to keep performing well and collaborate further with their team. As part of the company communications strategy, there may be an employee of the month or a structured way of providing positive feedback for members of the company to see, whether through email or on an intranet server. HR departments may consider using templates to ensure consistent communication across platforms and times.
  • Educate. Good communication at a business includes educating employees on all functions and aspects of the business model. HR teams can organize lunches or “talk and learn” sessions where employees learn about the roles of other team members. Additionally, there may be opportunities to learn about other skill sets or functions that take place at the business. These types of educational opportunities are especially important for new employees as they meet their team, their managers, and other important roles of the business.

Communication as a way towards success

This article reviewed the importance of communication, especially through HR departments and leaders. When poor communication is avoided, you create a more positive work environment and a company culture that more employees will want to be a part of. Communication goes beyond what is shared on messaging platforms or newsletters. Communication from HR can be through meetings, updates, discussions, and learning opportunities. As you find ways to promote effective communication at your business, don’t be afraid to get creative and find ways that will align with your company values and mission. Good communication is a practice that will build a solid foundation for all other aspects of your business. The more it takes place, the more you will find higher rates of retention, increased employee satisfaction, and an open, transparent company culture.

Next steps

Are you ready to elevate your company’s internal communication strategy? Are you ready to consider ways you can increase employee engagement through effective communication? Are you ready to establish communications teams at your business?

Heartland is ready to help.

Heartland helps nearly 1,000,000 entrepreneurs make and move money, manage employees and engage customers with human-centered technology solutions that allow them to rise above the daily grind and lead their businesses into a brighter future. Learn more at heartland.us