How To Retain An Invested Workforce Through Clear Communication

By Tom Starner | 2-min read

A new employee typically comes to his or her first day on the job brimming with optimism and high expectations. And why not? They most likely have used tools like Glassdoor and social media to vet their new employer, and the news from the outside seemed good – very good.

But once the company on-boards them, many workers soon find themselves searching for open, honest communications – transparency – from their new employer.

Engagement by numbers

The signs of ineffective communication are quite clear. For one thing, employee job satisfaction is low: The Mind the Workplace 2017 report, from the nonprofit Mental Health America and the Fass Foundation, found that a large majority of employees – 71%! – are looking for new jobs.

In 2017, IDG conducted a survey that sought reasons behind this ongoing disengagement. They found some revealing data: Given that just 39% of all employees view their communications as readily accessible, most of the employers polled faced an uphill communications battle. Another 35% of employees deem company materials not comprehensive enough, and only 28% are happy about the level of personalization in communications.

On the engagement and retention front, tenured employees surveyed are even less satisfied than new hires. After just the first year on the job, only 39% found information easy to access; 41% felt it wasn’t timely, and just 30% characterized their company’s communication as offering “engaging content and formats.”

IDG’s research findings reinforce the rapid rate at which employee expectations for internal communication have changed just in the past few years. In turn, that means increased pressure on HR organizations and management to keep pace. To meet diverse employee preferences and drive HR program adoption, employers must find a way to deliver much more frequent messages across communication channels, in multiple formats.

Up to this point, HR simply hasn’t had the tools and resources to meet employees’ evolving expectations for communication. By combining highly engaging content with software for managing employee communication campaigns and experiences, HR teams can better reach, engage and inform their employees.

Technology can play a key role

The bottom line is this: Employees – both new and experienced – want ongoing, transparent communications about benefits, compensation and other HR-related matters.

There are many ways to get there, but key to boosting the visibility of communications across the organization is to embrace technology advances. The IDG survey found that 75% of employees at firms using mobile and instant messaging technologies to convey HR information are more amenable to recommending their employer to others.  A strong majority of mobile users say they are “highly satisfied” with their jobs, and rate internal employee communication highly as well.

Ultimately, capturing the attention of a multi-generation workforce with diverse communication preferences is a daily challenge. Modernizing employee communication, and borrowing tactics that have proven successful in consumer marketing can help you overcome it. These tactics include segmenting audiences, delivering key messages in a multi-channel, multi-format campaign over time and, finally, measuring results and optimizing.

Adopting new technology and techniques that enable accessible, consistent, and transparent communication will yield an invested, high-performing, retained workforce.