Proper employee communications in the workplace have never been so important. Since the start of the pandemic, organizations across the world have become more aware of the importance of workplace communications in making employees more engaged and providing a better employee experience.
In this blog, you will learn about the best practices for boosting employee communications in your organization.
📚Before we dive in, take a look at our ebook “How to Boost Employee engagement with Communications Tools”.
The Shift Towards Asynchronous Employee Communications
Before the pandemic, most employees were depending on synchronous communication and real-time collaboration with their colleagues. Today, however, this is not the case anymore.
A survey from 2020 showed that 70% of Americans were working from home at some point since the start of the outbreak.
Since then, many employers have learned that this transition wasn’t so hard for employees, and some have even seen significant increases in their employees’ engagement and productivity at work.
Hence, more flexible working environments are here to stay. To make them work, however, employers need to reconsider their employee communications strategies, embrace asynchronous communications, and ensure necessary technologies for their workers.
Before we move forward, take a look into what 16 experts have to say about internal employee communications.
How to Make Employee Communications Work in 2022 and Beyond
The shift towards asynchronous employee communications is forcing employers to adopt new best practices in order to keep employees well informed, eliminate organizational and cross-departmental silos, improve employee experience, and reduce information overload as much as possible.
According to research, 86% of corporate executives, employees, and educators cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.
Today, when the workforce is dispersed more than ever, the consequences of poor communication and collaboration in the workplace are even more obvious.
So let’s take a look into how to embrace employee communications in your workplace in 2022 and beyond.
💡 Before digging deeper, also read: Top 13 Communication Barriers and How to Tackle Them.
1. Enforce the importance of trust
As nicely put by Harvard Business Review:
“managers who cannot “see” their direct reports sometimes struggle to trust that their employees are indeed working... ultimately disrupting their work-home balance and causing more job stress.”
This research showed that 34% of employees agreed that their supervisors “expressed a lack of confidence in their work skills.”, and even more employees reported feeling that they needed to be constantly available which has a significant impact on employee wellbeing.
Employers need to put more effort into understanding manager communications principles and into building trust in the workplace in general.
When there is no trust, it is unrealistic to expect employees to engage with company communications.
2. Drive frequent, honest, and consistent communications
Manager to employee and peer to peer communications need to happen more often when we depend on asynchronous communications. Otherwise, teams and departments start working in silos, independently.
Company leaders and internal communications professionals should be the drivers of more frequent, honest, and consistent communication in the workplace.
According to a Gallup study, employee engagement increases when managers provide consistent and clear communication. Another study showed that 4 out of 5 employees surveyed wanted to hear more frequently from their bosses about how their company was doing, and more than 90% of employees surveyed said they would rather hear bad news than no news.
Furthermore, pay special attention to inconsistencies. If your internal and external communications are different, you will once again lose the trust of your employees.
3. Engage leaders more
Good leadership plays one of the most important roles in building a positive workplace culture and improving employee communications efforts. Throughout 2020 and 2021 we have seen some good examples in which leaders really acted as role models in their organizations.
Leaders also have a big power in preventing miscommunication in the workplace.
In one research, nearly 81% of employees indicated that miscommunication occurred in their organization very frequently, frequently, or occasionally.
Leadership, together with internal communications departments, have to monitor miscommunications frequently and serve as catalysts to fake information.
4. Make information more relevant and engaging
In order to make employee communications work in your organization, you need need to invest more time and effort into producing and distributing more relevant content to your audience.
Content irrelevancy is the most common reason for information overload and also for information loss.
A big portion of content and messages employees receive doesn’t resonate with their jobs and interests. Unfortunately, many enterprise employers still don’t have an adequate way to segment employees by various criteria such as job functions, departments, geolocation, languages, interest, and others.
As a consequence, they send irrelevant content that employees ignore.
For employee communications to work, content relevancy is crucial. If you can’t ensure that every employee gets the right message at the right time, all the benefits of asynchronous communication become irrelevant.
5. Encourage employees’ share of voice
Roughly half of the employees aren’t regularly speaking their minds at work. Only 52% of employees say that they always or almost always speak their minds when having work-related conversations with their leaders.
Bottom-up employee feedback and employees’ share of voice are the most important prerequisites for improving employee communications. Organizations in which employees feel free to share their voice, raise their concerns, and share their ideas have much healthier workplace cultures and a more engaged workforce.
This is exactly why most organizations have started implementing employee surveys as a method for collecting continuous feedback from employees.
6. Provide a single source of truth and enable easy knowledge sharing
According to research, only 25% of senior executives say their organizations are effective at sharing knowledge. The other 75% are taking a financial hit: Fortune 500 companies reportedly losing an estimated $31.5 billion per year because they don't have effective strategies in place to encourage knowledge sharing across teams.
When employees are in the offices, it is much easier for them to share their knowledge. It is much easier to ask their colleagues for information that they need.
Asynchronous communication requires a different approach.
Today, every company should have a central knowledge database with all the important information accessible to every employee in a matter of seconds.
7. Introduce new channels based on employees’ interests
If you want your employees to engage in company conversations, consider creating communication channels and spaces designated for your employees to ask questions, comment on leadership announcements, engage with one another, and provide their feedback.
For example, you could have a COVID19-updates channel in which you can deliver the latest news important only from credible sources, making sure employees never consume fake news.
You could have WFH-tips channel in which employees can share and consume some good tips for working from home.
💡 Related: How to Build a Successful Communication Plan.
8. Don’t neglect the importance of technology
No matter the nature of your employees’ jobs, today, it is impossible to make employee communications work without the right technology.
Whether your employees work remotely, hybridly, or even if they are frontline employees, proper communication depends on the tools you provide them.
Modern employee communications apps are designed to enable organizations to implement the best and latest workplace communications practices. They help them deliver more personalized content in a more timely manner, provide a repository of important content accessible to everyone, measure the impact of employee communications on business success, get continuous feedback from every employee, and make employees more connected in general.
The Benefits of Proper Employee Communications [INFOGRAPHIC]
Today, communications professionals are one of the most important strategic business partners within organizations. Their role has extended into the areas of employee engagement, motivation, and productivity.
With the emergence of remote work, many organizations are trying to completely reshape their communication efforts and rebuild their employee communications plans.
Since the awareness of the importance of workplace communication culture is continuously increasing, employers’ appetites for improving communication and collaboration in their own organizations are also on the rise.
So take a quick look into the 11 most important reasons why companies are investing in employee communications more than ever before.
Start Improving Employee Communications Today!
Communication systems in the workplace have become very complex. There are multiple communication channels organizations use to keep their employees updated and engaged.
In order to improve and streamline employee communications, many organizations are now implementing new technologies that enable them to consolidate all those channels into a single platform.
Smarp is the leading employee communications and advocacy solution on the market. It enables enterprises to create, aggregate, and deliver personalized content to every employee. Peer-to-peer review website G2, which helps businesses find the best software, identifies Smarp as the leader in their Employee Communications grid.Schedule a Smarp demo today and learn how it can help you experience the benefits of proper communication in the workplace.