How to make sure your communications are enhancing the employee experience
As we adapt to post-Covid digital workplaces and hybrid working arrangements, it’s likely your communication strategy needs to be adapted to meet these new conditions, tackle new hurdles and enhance the employee experience, even from afar.
There are a variety of strands to a strong employee experience, many of which are enhanced through a successful communications strategy. Nowadays, more employees want to feel connected to their brand’s mission and aligned to its values, as well as create meaningful relationships with colleagues. There is also a growing urge for individuals wanting a ‘seat at the table’ – to have the opportunity to voice their opinions and understand how their job and the tasks they are doing directly play a role in overall organisational outcome. However, according to CIPD's Good Work Index survey, around a third of employees feel that their managers are poor at keeping them informed about management decisions, demonstrating that many companies still have a long way to go in creating an effective and inclusive communications strategy.
Here are a few ways you can ensure your comms are enhancing the employee experience as we enter a new, virtual dimension of work and beyond.
Keep employees in the loop
In certain industries, more individuals are choosing to work flexibly, which often involves spending less time at a physical workplace. This type of work has many perks, and for employees who are able to do so, it allows them to work around childcare arrangements, cuts out long commutes and extra expenses, among other things. However, it has its hurdles as well.
Working flexibly often means employees rarely see colleagues they don't work directly with, and there’s less opportunity for general day-to-day conversations. In fact, according to Gallup, 74% of employees feel that they're missing out on company news. Interaction is important for building culture and forging relationships, so this new way of working can really affect the employee experience, particularly if it means employees are missing out on company updates and feedback opportunities.
At a time where job uncertainty is also very prevalent, and there is still a lot of anxiety surrounding furlough and pay cuts, it’s more important than ever that you use your internal comms channels to ensure your employees feel extra supported, valued and in the loop. Ensure your team members know they are an integral part of the business by making sure they hear news about the company at the right time and from the right source.
You have the ability, and responsibility, as an employer to control your corporate narrative using your communications strategy. Ask yourself what kind of work culture and environment you want to build, and act accordingly.
If you haven’t already, why not launch an online hub or company intranet where employees can share personal news and discuss updates about the organisation? They’ll feel more connected to the business and will want to see it succeed which, in turn, will shine through in their work.
Encourage two-way communication channels
A good communications strategy encourages listening, as well as talking. Employees from across all layers of management should be frequently invited to share their ideas, opinions and feedback as well as have the power to recognise and reward their peers in an ongoing two-way discussion. Not only will this boost their sense of belonging and value, forge better relationships between colleagues and make them feel like a true team player, but it will also help drive positive change and innovation, as well as spark new ideas and shed light on problem areas that haven’t been previously discussed.
Involvement from all employees will also help to reinforce the mission of your business and their individual purpose. All of this will help drive a culture of advocacy and build up a workforce of brand ambassadors.
Regardless of where your employees are working it’s still important to encourage managers to enact an open door policy to support transparency and free-flowing communication. This policy can be as simple as communicating to your employees that managers are approachable, to break down any imaginary barriers between them.
Similarly, an outlet for peer-to-peer recognition can be a really valuable tool for providing a two-way dialogue, giving all employees a voice and encouraging them to use it to reinforce and celebrate certain values. There are a variety of ways a tool like this can work, but usually it consists of an online platform where employees can log in and nominate their colleagues via a personal message delivered directly to them, or posted on a social wall. This is ideal for building up a culture of appreciation, whilst also adding value to the employee experience.
Utilise company messaging to reinforce the why
Research shows that when employees have a clear purpose in the workplace and know that they are collaboratively working towards a shared goal, they feel more engaged and motivated to reach their potential each day. Employees therefore appreciate a steady flow of information which tells them how their team and the wider company is progressing towards various goals.
A multi-layer communications strategy is ideal for reinforcing your company’s objectives and goals. Perhaps begin by scheduling frequent, company-wide meetings to touch base and ensure all employees are on the same page. You can use this time to discuss exciting projects, announce any reports and updates, and link these back to your business’s mission. Following the meeting, send out written and visual communication that outlines what was shared to further reinforce company objectives and employees’ purpose.
Communicating your business’s mission and values should be a top priority, as well as recognising and celebrating the employees who demonstrate them in their work, particularly as teams continue to be split between the office and home. It’s likely that some employees will be feeling disconnected and isolated from company culture, so it's more important than ever that you use your comms to help them feel valued and purposeful.
There are a variety of ways you can reward and recognise your employees' hard work when they have tackled a challenge, demonstrated company values and gone the extra mile for a colleague. For example, an online points-based platform, where employees are rewarded points to spend at their leisure, is an ideal solution to reinforce positive behaviour, demonstrate the value of your employees’ actions and drive motivation across your workforce.
Remember consistency is key
Overall, it’s important to remember that when it comes to communicating with your employees about anything, consistency is key. Tailor a comms strategy that clearly demonstrates why your employees are doing the role they are doing. What’s the end goal? How does their role specifically affect overall organisational outcome? Ensure your platform is an outlet that gives your employees a voice too. Encourage them to give feedback, share ideas, reward and recognise their colleagues and celebrate successes, no matter how big or small.
This article is provided by Peoplevalue.
In partnership with peoplevalue – The Employee Engagement Company
We are a leading provider of employee reward&recognition, benefits delivery&wellbeing solutions.