Why is Effective HR Communication Important?
Erosion of trust and engagement - SHRM's 2010 job satisfaction survey notes that 3 in 10 employees are looking for a job elsewhere in 2010. Trust and engagement have been eroded during the recent recession and rebuilding employee engagement is now an imperative for many organizations.
Effective HR communication - contributes to learning, teamwork, safety, innovation and improved productivity across the organization. It also plays an important part in reducing employee turnover and customer turnover.
Pay and benefits communication - may have regulatory requirements that need to be adhered to. Such HR communications may also provide an opportunity to add value for employees.
Connecting employees to strategy and values - Effective HR Communication helps provide a 'line of sight' between business goals and individuals roles which in turn increases the effectiveness and profitability of the organization.
What Makes Effective HR Communication Difficult?
Multi-generational work forces
A typical organization has a blend of employee demographics (Traditionalist, Baby Boomer, Gen X and Gen Y). Communications that work for one generation may not work for another. Gen Y employees tend to prefer technology over face-to face Communications, are good at multi tasking and like information in small chunks. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, tend to favor face-to-face and printed HR communications. Subject interests may also vary. For example, older employees are likely to be more interested in communications regarding retirement benefits, where as younger employees are likely to be more interested in career development opportunities.
Different HR communication preferences and needs
In addition to generational differences, employees also have different communications requirements. Some people need to hear information, some need to read it and others need to experience it in order to comprehend it.
Information overload is a major cause of workplace stress and lost productivity. It is important to address the causes of email overload and to ensure that important messages cut-through.
Constrained message recall
Even in situations where information overload is not a factor, research shows that people typically remember only three to five points from any communication. Effective communication strategies can ensure that the most important points of a communication are understood and retained.
Many organizations now have employees working remotely and also possibly in different time zones. HR Communications need to 'reach' all employees regardless of their physical location.
HR Communication - How the SnapComms Tools can Help
Deliver HR Communications in an engaging interactive way
The SnapComms solution offers a range of ways to get messages across to different types of employees. For example:
Screensavers for Visual HR Communication
(60% of people communicate visually).
Use short summaries (or 'tweets' ) in SnapMag and on scrolling desktop news feeds for Gen Y employees with hyperlinks to further detail (to appeal to the older employees).
Communications delivered by a Scrolling Desktop Ticker
Desktop Quiz Example
Desktop Quizzes for people who communicate by 'doing'.
Online Forum Example
Plug-and-play Internal Social Media tools for discussion, further context, Q&A and helpdesks.
Communications channels such as Desktop Alerts and Scrolling Desktop Newsfeeds ensure that important Communications achieve cut-though. Message reporting and acknowledgement features can help track how effectively important messages are reaching their audience.
HR Communications as a Desktop Newsfeed
Employees have different Communications needs and the SnapComms tools are easy to target to different employee audiences. The SnapComms solution automatically detects existing network structures and permits message targeting based on these structures, machine based targeting (and / or newly created targeting groups).
The SnapComms solution provides a Registration tool which allows employee to specify factors such as demographics or information preferences. The SnapComms solution then automatically sets up message targeting groups to match these needs.
User Generated Internal Newsletter Example
Reduce email overload
The SnapMag user generated staff magazine aggregates 'mass email' updates from across the organization into an easy to read format that reduces interruption time and increases message cut-through.
Scheduling of HR communications to ensure delivery when employees are most receptive
The SnapComms' Communication system allows all types of messages to be pre scheduled with start and expiry times. In addition, Communications on screensavers are, by their nature, displayed when staff are most receptive (and not deeply focused in a piece of work).
Desktop Alert Example
Secure communications channels for commercially sensitive HR communications
SnapComms messages can't be easily forwarded (unlike emails). Only staff with a unique client applet residing on their computer can see SnapComms messages. Confidential HR communications can also be set up to be automatically deleted from local computers as soon as they have been read.
Pop-up Desktop Survey
Feedback / two way communications
The SnapComms Desktop Survey tool provides a means to carry out; opinion surveys, compensation surveys etc. to allow you to collect feedback and gather research prior to develop new HR policies and practices.
Obtaining leadership support
Reporting and measurement tools can help ensure leadership support for HR Communication. (See "Measuring Communication
Check out our Internal Communication Case Studies.