Creating an effective employee communications program for a better workplace.
A recent survey indicated that about 20% of employees care about the company they work for. About 20% could care less. It’s the remaining 60% that are on the fence and it’s part of your job as a manager, owner or HR professional to get them on your side. Sure, you’ve made it a policy to treat everyone equally. That sounds nice but not everyone is equal; some produce more than others. And, if you’re treating everyone equally you’re settling for mediocrity. How many rules, policies and procedures do you have and does everyone understand them? Do the people that work for you really understand what you want for your business? Those are all questions that can and should be answered.
What it all comes down to is communications. Your employees can be your greatest advocates; your greatest promoters. The reality is that your employees ultimately have the most control of the future of your business. In today’s economic climate and with new and unsettled governmental rules and regulations, more and more companies are using part-time and/or seasonal employees. Part-time and seasonal employees move…frequently. All it takes is five cents more or five miles closer to home. And even though you may have saved on some trailing costs by having less-then-full time employees, having a high turnover is still costing you more than it needs to in terms of actual costs, plus knowledge, continuity and customer relations. You can solve a lot of the retention problems through public relations. And if you’ve thought PR is simply just a news release now and then, you and the growth of your business are missing out.
Here are some things you can do to enhance your workplace, your staff and the growth of your business:
- Set the tone at the top. CEOs, managers and senior leaders need to set the tone – not harshly, but by being visible and accessible. They need to understand the relationship between employee communications and achieving organizational goals.
- Provide Context. Employees need to hear information from multiple sources; not just through the rumor mill. What external factors are affecting the business? What’s our strategy and why?
- Always communicate. Employees need to hear both the good news and the bad news. Being honest and candid makes you more credible.
- Use many channels. Most people need to hear or see a message multiple times to completely understand it. Talk to employees face-to-face…distribute messages electronically if you have the capability…have employee town hall meetings
- Be timely. Your employees should hear about something that’s happening in the business from you first, not from the media or their neighbors.
There are other avenues that help make for an effective employee communications program and we look forward to discussing them in future blogs. In the meantime, Inspire your employees. Contact us to learn more about Inspire Communications Audits to help improve employee communications in your business.
A recent transplant to Wilmington, Michael Koff has more than 40 years’ experience in corporate communications, public relations, public affairs and advertising for both large multi-national corporations such as Sony and smaller regional companies such as the Tribune-Review Publishing Co. He began his career in broadcasting and has been both a reporter and news director.
We’re pleased Michael has joined the team at Inspire which will enhance a key area of our agency.