Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to host an online roundtable discussion through CHRO.Online. In our session, CHROs and senior HR leaders from organizations spanning a breadth of sizes and industries discussed some of the challenges they face around employee communication, and the solutions they are implementing to solve them. Here are some of the key learnings from our roundtable.
1. Multiple channels are key to reaching today’s workforce
With multiple generations in the workforce, today’s organizations need to use several different vehicles for their employee communication strategy. Deskless and remote workers, whether at a call center or a health care facility, also require particular avenues of communication. While a recent IDG survey indicated that employees rated email and internet portals as some of the most effective communication channels, they don’t work as well for deskless employees. Most of the roundtable participants said they were blending traditional communication channels, like paper and face-to-face meetings, with more modern, web-based forms of communication. Across all the participants, mobile was a consistent part of their communication strategy. One participant even noted that mobile communications were consistently successful across all generations at her organization.
2. Partnering with Marketing helps drive consistency
Consistent messages and distribution are critical for successful communications. Unfortunately, many companies struggle with consistency because communication technologies and functional ownership are often spread across HR, marketing, and IT functions. Partnering with marketing and corporate communications seems to be a key to success. Several participants spoke of working together with marketing to create a unified strategy and voice for employee communication. One participant noted that her organization was partnering with corporate communications to ensure that “one message” was delivered to shareholders, consumers, and employees at their companies. Other participants shared that creating unified branding for employee communications was helping them provide a more complete employee experience. Jami Jones, CHRO of Questec Manufacturing, said that her organization was undergoing a branding campaign, directed both internally and externally. “I think it’s going to make a difference in our ability to communicate to our employees in the long run.”
3. Simplify and streamline
Just because employees are no longer buried under stacks of paper materials does not mean the risk of information overload has diminished. Several leaders mentioned that they’ve found it critical to keep messages short and easily accessible—as information is for employees in their personal lives—in order to earn employees’ attention and keep them engaged. Tracey Crandall, CHRO of Methodist Hospitals, noted that “mobile and bite-sized communications have really been successful” at her healthcare organization. And while participants agreed that mobile is an essential component of modern communications, they also pointed out how easily their employees can end up frustrated if expected to manage multiple mobile apps. There is a clear need for a solution that is optimized for mobile devices and does not require employees to manage yet another app or login.
These themes echo what I hear from the customers I speak with every day as CEO of GuideSpark.
GuideSpark is the leader in employee communications, with over 600 customers who use its solutions to effectively engage over 10 million employees and achieve HR program adoption goals. GuideSpark is the only company that blends SaaS technology and innovative, consumer-grade content that inspires, informs and reinforces the employer value proposition.
To listen to a recording of the roundtable, go here.