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REPORT: HR DOESN’T COMMUNICATE ENOUGH WITH EMPLOYEES -- AND 4 TIPS FOR REAL ENGAGEMENT

August 4, 2017 | By Jeremy Bornstein

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A new report is out that gives a stark look at how employees all over the country feel about the communication strategy of their HR folks. Let’s take a look at some of these surprising findings -- and most importantly, what can be done about them!

For their white paper titled “What Every Employee Wants From Their HR Team,” mobile app provider EmployeeChannel, Inc. polled over 1,200 U.S. workers in different segments, including office, non-desktop, and remote workers. According to EmployeeChannel, “The participants represented a cross-section of employers, from small businesses with less than 50 employees to enterprises with 20,000+ employees, and included employees with a wide range of educational experience, from high school to postgraduate work.”

And, they report, despite their different work environments, all three segments share a common view of the importance, frequency, and channels of communication.

There are a lot of key takeaways from this survey, but first and foremost is this stunning statistic: Only 16% of workers say HR communications make them feel “connected and engaged.”

Sixteen percent!

“We went into the study believing that we would find different communication requirements for non-desktop and remote workers when compared to the requirements of corporate office employees,” stated Steve L. Adams, CEO of EmployeeChannel, in a press release. “It turns out that -- regardless of their work environment -- people are just people when it comes to communication. They all highly value communication from HR and would benefit from a new digital approach to employee communication.”

Some more key findings from the report:

HR-report-infographic.pngPhoto by EmployeeChannel, Inc

  • Employees believe effective communication is critical to creating a positive employee experience. Regardless of their work environment, all employee segments ranked “communicates frequently and effectively with employees” as one of the top two behaviors that creates a positive experience at work.
  • Nearly half of employees reported they were “neutral, disagreed, or strongly disagreed” that the HR team’s communication efforts made them feel more informed or engaged at work.
  • A majority of employees feel that HR is not communicating with them frequently enough. Seventy-five percent of employees indicated that HR communicates with them “never or rarely” or only “sometimes.”
  • The three employee segments ranked “open communication to all employees” as one of the top two initiatives they wished their employer would focus on more, following only “positive recognition.”

This survey -- and what it says about the importance of communication, from frequency to methods -- resonates with us at 2020 On-site. One of our cornerstone values, both in how we work internally as a company, and how we work with our customers, is communication. And it’s perfectly in line with the messaging we share with HR around communicating that we’ll be on-site.

Here are our tips for improving your communication with your employees:

1. Don’t be afraid of multiple emails

E-mail communication to employees isn’t overwhelming! Even though employees receive countless e-mails for work, digital communication from HR is important. Employees want to hear from leadership and HR because it allows them to feel connected and shows them that the company and their HR team cares. And connection and feeling cared for are key components to employee engagement.

In fact, over 75% of our patients hear about us through e-mail from their HR team, so we know this method is tried and true.

That being said …

 

2. Go with a multi-channel approach.

Yes, email is the standard and can’t be overlooked. But, as evidenced by the results of this survey, same old same old isn’t cutting it with today’s workers. Using multiple methods of communication is key to ensuring your initiatives are maximizing their impact on employee engagement.

Some of the basics: digital signage in work areas, foyers and elevators; physical one-pagers on bulletin boards. Other winning ideas include signage on easels; tent cards on lunchroom tables; intranet postings; and creative Slack messaging.

It's also always nice to have a human element too! In-person announcements by wellness champions or management in each department can go a long way.

Our clients who use multi-channel approaches see participation rates of over 20% in the first year alone -- numbers to be truly excited about! And on-site care leads to healthier, happier employees.

 

3. Timing is everything.

Increase the effectiveness of your communications by making announcements leading up to or important events or milestones. And then don’t forget about the follow-up!

 

4. Clarity is key.

At the same time, it’s important to keep communications for distinct programs separate to make sure nothing gets lost in the shuffle.

 

How do high-level business leaders engage and retain their employees? Learn from thousands of years of collective HR experience on what makes employees tick: Download Now

 

Main photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash
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