Companies – whether they produce the latest, must-have techno gadgets or churn out loaves of bread – cannot succeed without employees who are happy, healthy, take pride in their work, and are willing to give their jobs their all. Creating this workplace utopia is possible, and employers can help to make it happen with an often overlooked, yet super simple (and affordable) tool: effective employee communication.
Communication (in other words, what you say, how you say it, when you say it, and who you say it to) can shape how employees feel and think about their workplace. Effective communication leaves employees feeling excited and ready to excel at life, their relationships, their work, and everything really.
According to a Harris Poll:
- Employees who felt their company effectively communicated information of value to them were more than twice as likely to rate their company’s reputation as good compared to those who didn’t feel they received effective communication (76% vs. 36%, respectively).
- Similarly, employees with effective communicators were more likely to believe the best years are ahead for their employer (75% vs. 47%, respectively).
An optimistic outlook (made possible through the effective communication) can translate into positive people, upbeat work environments and superior work products – wins for everyone (employees, employers, and customers, clients, or patients).
You must consider these 8 key elements if you are to be effective with your communication:
- Audience – Make sure you’re communicating to the right people. Sometimes, this will mean your entire population. Other times, it could be specific groups.
- Timing – Figure out when you need to communicate so that your audience is more likely to tune in. Take into account the day of the week, time of day, and job responsibilities.
- Message – Be sure you know exactly what you want your audience to know and stick to one message at a time so you don’t overwhelm people with too much information.
- Clarity – Use simple, direct communication and include a call to action (i.e., what you want your audience to do).
- Concise – Deliver messages as thoroughly, but as briefly as possible. Don’t waste your audience’s time.
- Language – Use words and phrases that your audience can understand and relate to, not jargon or corporate speak.
- Tone – Talk or write how you would tell a friend or loved one in a casual conversation.
- Channels – Determine which channel(s) you’ll use – print (newsletters, tip sheets, posters, etc.) and electronic (emails, texts, intranet/blog, video, social media, etc.)
Communication done right can supercharge your organization – making employees happy, healthy, and bringing their best selves to work. You’ll likely need to invest some time and energy to make communication be the best it can be, but fortunately, communication usually isn’t expensive if you’re committed and creative.
To help you make employee communications a priority, Hope at Work is taking a more detailed look at the issue once a month during the first quarter. In the February blog, we’ll delve deeper into answering the question: What employee communication should you focus on?
What to do next:
- Download this infographic for a visual of the 8 key elements of effective employee communication.
- Read this article for an overview on making employee communications a priority.
- Check out these success stories of how your colleagues are making communication a priority in their companies.
- Read this FREE eBook, “How to Put Communication First in Workplace Wellbeing,” for expert advice on how to implement a “communications first” approach at your workplace.
What communication challenges are you facing? I can help find a solution that works for you. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-334-4094.